HAVING starting his career as a rail ticketing clerk in a travel agency in Paris in 1976, Frederic Bardin has held a fair number of jobs within the travel and tourism industry.
He left France, aged 23, to take up the post of operations manager in Seychelles’ leading Destination Management Company (DMC). It was here that his passion for travel began.
Of his 30 years in the industry, Bardin has spent 20 with Emirates. He held the post of senior vice president at Arabian Adventures, the Destination Management Company (DMC) as well as the senior vice president for Congress Solutions International (CSI), which is a full service Professional Congress Organiser.
Both Arabian Adventures and CSI are business units within Emirates’ Destination & Leisure Management (D&LM) Division. In 2011, he joined the Emirates Holidays team.
Backed by a robust career in the tourism industry spreading across three continents, his strengths lie in tour operating, destination management, incentive travel programmes and marketing.
Speaking about change in the travel industry, Bardin says that the biggest one he has noticed over the past 35 years is the phenomenal increase in air travel and in particular long-haul travel.
“When I first left France to pursue my career overseas, my friends considered me an ‘adventurer’ going to explore tropical far off lands,” recalls Bardin. “At the time Seychelles was not very well known as a destination and the number of people travelling long-haul for holidays was few and far between. In fact, travelling by plane was still considered a luxury for most.
“Today, flying 8 to 12 hours to get anywhere is routine and exotic destinations that may have once been out of reach, are now easily accessible and affordable.”
He continues: “The service industry has also changed as technology has developed and the way we communicate has evolved.
“This has had a huge impact on the tourism industry in terms of reservations. Today, we take into account a tenth of a second when measuring the response time of our reservations system.
“This is essential not only to deliver a high standard but also in the quickest time possible. Gone are the days when quotations, reservations and arrival lists were written by hand. Now we have tens of thousands of hotels at our finger tips and can make a reservation with a click of a button.”
Bardin lives by the rule - travel as much as you can!
“Discovering a new country and new culture is not only exciting but it broadens your outlook on life and can teach you great things. Each country is unique and whether it’s the people, the landscapes, the architecture or the food that you fall in love with, your memories will stay with you forever.
“Respect the environment that welcomes you – the people and their culture including religion, habits and language as well as nature. The more you accept and adapt to the local environment, the more fulfilling your experience will be.”
As a well-heeded traveller, Bardin has several favourite destinations, most of them linked to great moments in life.
“I have fallen in love with so many countries almost instantly – from the Masai Mara reserve in Kenya, to Bariloche in Argentina; from Denis Island in the Seychelles, to the banks of the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar. I have revisited these places over and over to experience and learn more about the culture,” he added.
Frederic Bardin is the senior vice president for Emirates Holidays.