Professions and a sector in full revolution: a conference with Mr Ludovic Agogué, HR Director of Havas Voyages, 37th major partner of Montpellier BS


On 15th October, Montpellier Business School had the pleasure of welcoming Mr Ludovic Agogué, Human Resources Director of HAVAS Voyages, as part of the signing of a major partnership, followed by a plenary conference on the question of the necessary digitisation of a French SME in the tourism sector.

Havas Voyages, which has embraced its digital shift, was recently voted the best travel distribution network 2017 by Capital magazine. However, with 12,000 employees and 350 branches in France, the task is not a simple one and the company remains in a state of upheaval in the wake of its 2015 separation from Carlson Wagonlits Travel and return to the Marietton group.

"Like many companies, we are experiencing a real revolution in our attempt to bring together a physical distribution network and what is happening live online! To approximate the two, we first wanted to act in defence of our brand in order to prevent a drop out, which we have seen happen with other large stakeholders in our sector. Very quickly, we subsequently embarked on an omnidirectional strategy to respond to the evolution of purchasing methods, at the same time as developing our consulting and customer service agency business. Now, our ultra-connected customers have more choices, requirements, etc. all while making less and less difference!" said Mr Agogué.

Havas Voyages has thus raised the omnichannel stakes, in terms of both distribution and communication. "We made the choice to maintain a presence across different channels, partly to avoid dependency on a search engine (dependence on Google), but also to enhance the added value of the travel planner's job, which is to support and advise our clients throughout their purchasing experience, which begin digitally and finish in an agency, or vice versa. This strategy is based on strong values of passion, expertise and commitment, as well as, and above all, proximity. This is why we strive to maintain maximum visibility of our physical agency network and a coexistence of the two methods, without one overpowering the other."

Where Havas Voyages is innovative is in its approach of creating a travel design platform that is backed by its distribution network. "In order to create this platform, named 'Itinérêve', we needed new ideas and a certain agility. This is why we collaborated with a start-up, which provided us with an outside point-of-view, technology, expertise and innovation!" adds Mr Agogué. "Itinérêve allows us to sell in another way, by connecting future travellers, not with 'travel planners' but with 'travel makers', who are focused on a specific need, 24 hours a day. We are way beyond the traditional transport/hotel formula, instead focusing on the turnkey preparation of highly personalised holidays. Thanks to this platform, we can now also reach a younger audience in the recreation market, who represent a significant group of travel consumers, thus strengthening our customer base. Today, 36.5 million travellers do not use a middleman when arranging their trips and they often find themselves lost in the overwhelming choice that the internet has to offer; this is where we have found our place!"

Of course, Montpellier BS will follow the development of its 37th major partner very closely and will keep you informed! For those who are now starting to dream of packing their suitcases, think of…