Six years ago, I came into the travel agency business to make a change. Even though I was prepared for many things, I could never have anticipated the magnitude of the changes I would be working with. In addition to SMT, these changes have shaped the entire industry.
The new SMT rose to its feet within a year and, during the past four years, all of our personnel have succeeded in building an inspiring and energetic culture of winning – and this can also be seen in our results. Even Kauppalehti has acknowledged this by admitting us the Achiever certificate three times in a row. The change will now be even more visible to our clients, as SMT is changing its name to American Express Global Business Travel (GBT).
It feels particularly good to be here right now. We have occasionally had some challenging moments. Together, we have learned that no development can take place without change, and that this growth story could not have been created without a strong, people-focused culture. We are braver than ever, both as a team and as individuals, and sensing a purpose in our work is an important part of our culture – as you may know, SMT is involved in fighting against loneliness. It matters to us how a company achieves results – good figures on the bottom line are not enough for us.
Despite being a part of a global network for decades already, we remain firmly rooted in the Finnish bedrock. We are proud of our own expertise and we know our home market and the needs of our clients. Our integration with our owner GBT, American Express Global Business Travel, is already in the final stretch. “Local but global” will be our strength in the future. As our client, you will receive the benefits of a global organisation combined with local competence and presence. Our clients can experience this as advanced digital services and costs savings, among other things.
On 29 October 2018, the name SMT will be history. SMT and its predecessors Finland Travel Bureau and Area carry with them a broad spectrum of emotions and stories as well as people who have become friends under these brands. The friendships will remain even with the new name. We are once again taking a major emotional leap. The world is developing faster than ever before, and our presence will be even stronger wherever you are.
We will continue to operate in Finland and soon we will have a name that is known everywhere. The name is American Express Global Business Travel.