Site Young Leader, Raymon Honings is the Owner/Founder of Travelmediate, Amsterdam, Netherlands, representing alliance partners within the Benelux for the MICE, Leisure (Groups) and events market. For six years prior to forming Travelmediate, he was the owner of incentive house, EAE Travel Group. He has been a Site member for six years and currently serves on the Site Young Leaders’ membership committee.
Site: What is your current role and responsibilities at Travelmediate?
Raymon: I am the Owner/Founder of Travelmediate a company that represents more than 25 worldwide destinations and DMCs to buyers in the Benelux region.
Site: What is your educational and professional background and why did you choose the meetings and events industry as a profession?
Raymon: I have been in the Travel and Tourism industry since 1999. After earning a degree in Sports Marketing at Hogeschool in Holland, I spent five years as a tour operator and product manager with Hotelplan ag guiding tours and contracting with hotels and destinations in Greece, Turkey, Italy and Austria. When I first started my career I did not have a clue that the MICE segment existed. Six years ago, when I returned to the Netherlands, I decided that I wanted to get more involved in the business tourism industry. After some investigation, and attending some Site Netherlands events I decided to open an incentive house, EAE Travel Group. Since my education and experience is in sales and marketing rather than operations, two years ago I formed Travelmediate to sell and represent destinations in the MICE industry.
Site: What or who motivated you to join Site?
Raymon: I first joined Site to meet new people who shared the same ideology about business tourism and to become more educated about the incentive travel industry. Participating in Site events such as the Global Conferences in Orlando and Beijing and Site activities at major trade shows such as IMEX and EIBTM has been an excellent way to learn and network with people from destinations around the world. As a member of Site Young Leaders, I feel I am part of and can contribute to the development of the future leaders of the MICE industry.
Site: The Site Global Conference is being held in the Netherlands this year, what would you share with Site members to encourage them to attend the conference?
Raymon: Although it is a small country, the Netherlands has so much to offer as an incentive travel destination. A major international transportation hub, Amsterdam offers great flight access from over 250 destinations worldwide. The country has beautiful countryside and coastlines, many fine hotels, a first-rate infrastructure, and you can traverse the entire country in just a few hours. Rotterdam is a dynamic, cosmopolitan city situated on the borders of the river Maas and is internationally renowned as one of the world’s biggest ports. Although Rotterdam is over 650 years old, with its exciting new architecture, the city feels young. Ever since the destruction of the city center by World War II bombardments, it has been a symbol of the rebuilding of a country in ruins. Historical features such as the inner city ports and an abundance of galleries, museums, festivals, restaurants and bars guarantee an interesting visit. I looked forward to welcoming and introducing Site members to all that the Netherlands has to offer incentive travel planners.