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Rédigé par The Editors translated by Joséphine Foucher le Dimanche 11 Janvier 2015
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Fabrice Dariot ( “Towards a remodeling of the OTA’s economic model”

Interview with Fabrice Dariot, Head of BDV

Fabrice Dariot, head of Bourse de vols and Bourse des voyages, assesses the year that just ended. In 2014, his company incurred “modest” benefits due to the cost of acquiring clients which keeps increasing.

North America, Thailand, India, or even China are seeing an increase in 2014 with - DR
North America, Thailand, India, or even China are seeing an increase in 2014 with - DR - Globally, how did 2014 go at Bourse Des Vols, Bourse Des Voyages?

Fabrice Dariot: Globally, in volume and numbers of cases, we’re increasing.

In 2014, we stayed in the green, but benefits remain modest. Our margins crumbled due to technological investments but also, and especially, the increasing cost of acquiring clients.

We’re forced to keep a reinforced presence on more and more channels, such as social networks, to keep having influence and maintain an equal number of customers.

All of this leads to a shortening of our margins.

The biggest challenge is for OTAs, for them to be able to relieve their dependence on paid links, especially with comparators. - How do you see online travel agencies evolve, will the concentrations continue?

Fabrice Dariot ( “Towards a remodeling of the OTA’s economic model”
Fabrice Dariot: Yes, concentrations will continue, there are already closer relations between comparators and online agencies, and the phenomenon is only going to expand.

Aside from that, a remodeling of the economic models is going to take place. Online agencies may not truly provide “differentiating” offers to the client.

We will surely need to change the model. - Important web companies are now betting on “physical” agencies, and some networks are looking to make their way on the Internet. Could BDV have some travel agencies in its name?

Fabrice Dariot: The multichannel represents one truth, yet it implies having “physical” retail outlets in line with the online strategy.

Not all agencies satisfy the “pure players”, but this model isn’t bad at all. - You have developed your own technology for your search engine, why did you make this choice?

Fabrice Dariot: Yes, we developed our own technology with Amadeus, in order to have added-value and expertise.

Dry seats sales that represent 90% of our turnover have become too central. They are the heart of our business. - Are you thinking of deploying in B2B?

Fabrice Dariot: We’re already doing that. We offer a search engine for dry seats with Partir Pas Cher. We’re in contact with other players.

Putting a search website online is easy, but we also need competitive prices, and a multitude of expertise to outmaneuver large European OTAs. - Which destinations have been lagging behind in 2014 at BDV?

Fabrice Dariot: Tourists were lacking in Morocco and Tunisia (Dry seats Tunis -33%, Casablanca -42%, Marrakech -45%.) Algeria (Alger -12%) that mostly receives an ethnic and business traffic, is seeing its business clientele decreasing.

The West Indies are also decreasing (Pointe à Pitre -9%, Fort de France 17,2%). Beyond the price of the airplane ticket, these destinations remain expensive on location, and maybe the West Indians in the metropole come back less frequently to the islands. - And which destinations have been on the rise in 2014 with BV?

Fabrice Dariot: North America: the United States and Canada, has been very successful with a wide flight offer, and a stable dollar. It’s also a destination considered safe.

India and China are also progressing. Thailand remains a safe bet, it keeps growing, helped by a varied flight offer from Gulf companies. - Any last words?

Fabrice Dariot: I hope our country is going to find peace and harmony again. The current mood is suffocating…

The Editors translated by Joséphine Foucher

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