On the occasion of its 40th anniversary, Aktina Travel Group, one of the largest travel organizations in Greece, is launching a new corporate identity, welcoming an era of ongoing development with the aim of remaining the number one choice for credible and quality travel services.
“Keeping our 40-year recipe of success, characterized by elements such as credibility, trust, quality and innovation, we redesigned the way we organize our business as well as how our business looks, from both the inside and outside.” – Andromachi Zerzivili
Introducing Aktina Travel Group
GTP’s discussion with Andromachi Zerzivili
- GTP: In our last printed issue we had the chance to take a first look at your new logo and identity. How did you come to the decision to rebrand and why now?
Andromachi Zerzivili: At Aktina we are celebrating 40 years this June and we all felt the need to commemorate this milestone by touching base with our values and revamping our structure, logo and overall identity. In a way we wanted to set the foundation for the next 40 years, and I truly believe that the changes we have implemented and other initiatives we are planning this year, will achieve that.
- GTP: What do you want to convey through your new identity?
Andromachi Zerzivili: Simply put, we wanted an identity that would effectively reflect our timeless values and vision for the future. Keeping our 40-year recipe of success, characterized by elements such as credibility, trust, quality and innovation, we redesigned the way we organize our business as well as how our business looks, from both the inside and outside. AKTINA Travel Group’s new logo, I find, is more clean and simple, has a contemporary design and a new color palette which, I think, exudes the prestige and credibility that characterizes our company. The plane taking off symbolizes, on the one hand, the group’s core mission: the journey. On the other, it clearly symbolizes the Group’s strategic decision for continuous growth and expansion of its activities. Finally we used distinct colors but uniform logos for our different companies, to reflect the unique standing of each of our companies but common vision and culture that brings them together.
GTP: What sets Aktina Travel Group apart from other travel organizations?
Andromachi Zerzivili: We pride ourselves for the extent to which we prioritize our clients, and I think it’s the quality that sets us apart. Our customers have been returning for more than 40 years, not only because of our reliable and efficient travel services but above all because they know they will receive a tailored-made, client focused service that puts their needs first. Whether it is a customer using Aktina Tickets, our online ticket reservation service, or a B2B client trying to seal the best deals for his agency on Aktina Travel Pro, our customer is sure to find a service that is second to none.
Of course the mere fact that we simultaneously cater fellow travel agencies, as business partners, and everyday clients as their trusted travel agents, also sets us apart. The bulk of travel information we handle and sophisticated B2B booking platform we have developed, allows our partners to enjoy incomparable financial terms and be competitive in their own markets but also of course our own clients to enjoy leading travel services.
- GTP: Apart from the logo, we have also come across your new website. What were some primary objectives during the development of the new website?
Andromachi Zerzivili: A website nowadays is the face and name of a company, and given our full-scale rebranding effort, we couldn’t have left our website out of it. We wanted to create a website that will be user-friendly, contain all the needed information, but above all inspire a visitor to travel. At Aktina we are known for curating travel experiences for our clients, so we wanted a website that would be an extension of that. Also, don’t forget that under our new structure, Aktina Travel Group hosts all of the group’s subsidiaries and affiliated companies, and as such we wanted our website to allow the easy navigation from one to the other.
- GTP: Was it a challenge to create a Group brand that would speak to all of your different audiences?
Andromachi Zerzivili: Yes it was. There are complexities in being a fully rounded travel organization meaning that we cater from the single traveler who wishes to book an online ticket to London, to the ship-owner who needs to attend meetings in three different countries in a week and the travel professional who uses our platforms to secure hotel and airplane deals for its own clients. We even run the Athens City Sightseeing buses. So you can imagine that we needed to create a brand that would act as an umbrella for all these different companies and audiences. This brought us to what we call today the Aktina Travel Group. We may be addressing many different audiences, but we approach all of them with the same values and client-centric approach, so I believe that a Group brand, could not represent us better.
- GTP: Have any new departments been created through the rebranding process? What does the group’s new structure look like?
Andromachi Zerzivili: Under the new Group identity, Aktina Travel Group seamlessly encompasses all of the organisation’s subsidiary companies and improved services, with Aktina Travel Services, the group’s pillar department, incorporating under its name, as individual entities, the company’s different specializations. As such, Aktina Travel Group’s flagship maritime department is being renamed Aktina Shipping & Energy, to better represent, besides shipping companies, the growing number of oil & gas enterprises we serve. On the other hand, Aktina’s Corporate services are merged with M.I.C.E. (Meetings, Incentives, Congress, Events) creating Aktina Corporate & MICE, while a new independent department is created for the exclusive and specialized services that Aktina Travel Group already offers: Aktina Tailor Made.
Of course under the new structure, Aktina’s B2B services, Aktina Travel Pro, but also Aktina’s online ticket reservation service, www.aktinatickets.gr will also come under the Group, adopting its uniform identity. Finally Aktina Choices (ex Aktina Prime) has adopted a new brand identity, while the Group is also complemented by Aktina Artion, City Sightseeing and Goldstar.
GTP: What has been your favorite part of the rebranding effort?
Andromachi Zerzivili: The internal launch day was for sure the most nerve-racking but also rewarding part of the whole experience. Taking the decision to radically change the image and structure of the company, from renewing our platforms to refurbishing our offices was a huge decision, and keeping it all a secret from staff, in order to surprise them, made it all the more agonizing. Our business is a family-run enterprise and a great number of employees have been with us for most of their careers. As a result, taking what they knew and loved for 40 years and radically changing it entailed the risk of people not buying-in. Thankfully though, everyone loved it and welcomed this new era Aktina is embarking upon, and we do not, for one second, regret our decision to do so.
- GTP: What are your plans for the near future?
Andromachi Zerzivili: Apart from reinforcing our newly formed corporate structure, we are in the process of fully refurbishing our headquarters as well as Goldstar is moving to brand new offices in Amalias str. We are also in the process of refurbishing Aktina Travel Group’s branch in Athens International Airport (AIA). I’m particularly excited about the refurbishment of our branch at AIA, as we’re the only travel agency with presence at the airport. Lastly, we also plan to increase our presence in the fields that we do most of our business in, like shipping, and for this reason we are proud sponsors of the Posidonia Sea Travel Forum and next year’s 2016 grand Posidonia event.