UNIGLOBE Eastern Canada Region has a new Regional President in charge. We sit down with Dean Dacko, a 25-year travel industry veteran, to discuss challenges in today’s marketplace, and his plans to further company growth and development.
1. The UNIGLOBE name has been around for a long time. How has the company grown since its inception in 1981?
The UNIGLOBE brand has an amazing history of growth and success that extends globally to over 90 countries across six continents with annual sales in excess of $5.0+ billion. Our history in Canada is even more extraordinary. For just under 40 years we have grown into an expansive network of highly focused, and dedicated franchise owners whose business literally depends on meeting, and in fact, exceeding the customer satisfaction expectations of all our corporate clients, their thousands of employees, and the hundreds of thousands of passengers we service every year.
UNIGLOBE today is uniquely positioned as the only Canadian-owned Global Travel Management Company.
2. What’s first on your to-do list? And what lessons have you learned from your previous travel industry roles that will serve you well at UNIGLOBE?
As Regional President my objective is quite simple: drive the continued growth and success of the region by providing our franchise network with industry leading travel technology, marketing programs, and business analytics tools to help them grow their businesses. My 25+ year career has provided me with a rather unique perspective on the travel industry in North America, and around the globe. As CMO, I launched Malaysia Airlines’ entry into the One World alliance, and sat as an equal partner with American Airlines, British Airways, and Qatar Airways among others to discuss and plan the future direction for marketing and distribution initiatives such as NDC, the personalization of guest experience, and the expansion of non-seat revenue as key commercial goals for all airlines operating right around the world. This understanding of the core strategy of where our most significant partners are headed has provided me with the insight to navigate through the challenges of today, and position UNIGLOBE Travel for success long into the future.
3. Who does UNIGLOBE cater to?
Corporate travel represents the greatest share of business for a majority of the UNIGLOBE Eastern Canada agency network, and one theme is consistent for every one of our operators: how do we continue to deliver the highest value to our clients while managing the pressure to lower service fees as costs in all areas of the business continue to rise?
The simple answer within a very complex solution is to understand your customer better than anyone else. You have to be able to anticipate rather than simply react to their needs. An insightful ‘Business Analytics’ capability is Mission Critical to staying relevant in corporate travel today, and this trend will continue well into the future.
4. In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges Canadian travel agents face today?
In my opinion, the most significant challenge faced by all participants in the travel business environment today is our collective ability to keep current with the latest technology solutions in order to drive efficiency and productivity, while delivering a best in class customer experience. UNIGLOBE provides direct support for our network technology, and we are constantly evaluating, testing, and implementing new tools to ensure that these solutions are industry leading, and cost effective.
5. What’s new for UNIGLOBE in 2019?
In 2019 you will start to see a lot more from UNIGLOBE! We will be working alongside our franchise partners to be more visible in our competitive markets, and increasingly more active in promoting and growing our network from coast to coast.