Gregory Lamoot, Sales Executive – Benelux Market
First discovering the beauty of Asia while on cruise, Greg has reconnected with his love of Asia by joining EXO Travel in August 2017 as our new sales executive for the Benelux market.
WHAT LED YOU TO THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY?
When I was in my teens, growing up in a small town of Heide, Belgium, my parent’s preferred method of travel was by cruise. Throughout the years, I joined them on cruises to almost every corner of the world. I enjoyed cruising so much that I decided to gear my education towards the tourism sector. At that time, cruising was still relatively unheard of in Belgium and I found myself at the right time and place because I had the knowledge and freedom necessary to promote and put cruising on the market in Belgium. Starting first as a trainee for Belgium Cruise Center, my career progressed from Sales Product Manager to Director of Sales in the Benelux and mainland Europe sectors.
HAVING OVER 20 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN SALES IN THE BENELUX SECTOR, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE SKILLS AND ASSETS YOU BRING TO EXO TRAVEL AS THE NEW SALES EXECUTIVE?
Being fluent in French, Dutch and German languages, I can easily communicate with clients in Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. My aim is to broaden EXO Travel’s sales in the French and German sectors of the Benelux market. Having a sales office here is really an advantage as I am able to help clients with their queries without having to worry about the time difference between Asia and Europe. Furthermore, I know the Benelux travel trade inside and out, and it is a pleasure to see and meet all the agents and tour operators that I have known for a long time so I can excite them with the great quality products that EXO Travel has to offer.
TELL US ABOUT THE BENELUX MARKET AND HOW EXO TRAVEL PRODUCTS DO IN THIS REGION.
Japan, Thailand and Vietnam are the three most popular destinations sold in the Benelux region. I’m confident that I can boost the sales of other destinations as well, especially with multi-country products, by shedding light on all of the amazing things clients can do there. Multi-country trips are currently very popular. Agencies are constantly looking for lesser-known destinations to discover. The biggest advantage of convincing new agencies to work with EXO is the fact that we have presence in 10 destinations across Asia and a multi-country trip can be quoted in just one offer. This cuts down a lot of paperwork and gives us an edge in efficiency over our competitors.
WHAT CHALLENGES DOES THE BENELUX MARKET FACE IN TERMS OF GROWING THE TOURISM SECTOR?
In the past, the Benelux market was a dumping ground for all kinds of operators for last-minute bookings such as unsold accommodation, cruises and airline tickets. These were promoted in the region at low rates which created a sort of `cheap’ image. This has changed in the last three years. Agencies and operators have altered their sales tactics to `the earlier you book, the better rate you get.’ This took a while for the clients to adapt to, but they are starting to warm up to booking their holidays in advance.
However, this has a negative impact on luxury, high-end travellers such as CEOs, who can often only book their trips in the last minute. These travellers find themselves making compromises for more mainstream tours because high-end travel is way too expensive. It is challenging to try to meet these high-end travellers’ needs and expectations, but this is something I aspire to do as much as possible.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FORWARD TO FOR BENELUX?
Benelux is one of the fastest-growing markets, and its demands and nuances are constantly changing. I look forward to being able to use my expertise to help clients seize the opportunities ahead and be part of a movement that will, hopefully, lead Benelux market into the forefront of travel. The future is bright!