Mark Aivo Takis is a travel industry veteran, born and raised in Estonia, but active in several countries across the globe. He started his first travel agency (Estravel AS) in 1988 and it has now grown into the largest travel agency in the Baltic countries. Estravel today is an international group, with wholly owned subsidiaries in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Australia and the USA. All of them are IATA accredited agencies who employ local staff. His longest period of living abroad was in Australia, from 2003 to 2015.
Parallel to his travel business, Takis has been active in other roles, such as the Estonian honorary consul in Australia (Sydney), Member of the Advisory Board of the American Express Travel Network (New York), Member of the Finnair Group’s heads of subsidiaries and area managers team (Helsinki), Co-Founder and Board member of Aero Airlines AS (Tallinn), Founder and president of ASTA’s Estonian Chapter, etc.
The consolidated sales turnover of Estravel Group in 2019 was 100m EUR and it employed 230 staff globally before the Covid crisis.
Abstract of the presentation
We all remember how it started. One day, the global travel industry was on a steady course to a record year. And the next, everything collapsed.
Estravel Group, a privately owned travel agency with 32 years of history and with fully owned, IATA accredited offices in six different countries (Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Australia, USA) was one of the businesses who took a long time to realise what really had happened. But, against all predictions by the bankers and the media, they survived the Covid crisis.
This presentation tells you how.
Among other things, we will look at country-by-country comparison of the relative loss of revenue in each client sector, the impact of travel restrictions on the customer behaviour, the labour market flexibility and legal obstacles, different forms of government support received in different markets, etc.
And then, the most interesting question: What would this agency have done differently in hindsight?