Name: Amr Badr
Position title: Managing Director of Abercrombie & Kent, Egypt and the Middle East
Company name: Abercrombie & Kent Egypt
When and why did you join the industry?
I joined the industry in the early 1990s. Having always had a passion for meeting people and learning about the world and its different cultures, I felt I could share my perspective through delivering authentic travel experiences.
What do you like most about your job?
Travel is in my DNA and I am inspired daily by the people I interact with in the industry as well as the guests A&K looks after. The job is always diverse with different briefs and challenges presenting themselves. I like that it’s a fast-paced work environment where solid focus is required in order to get it right.
What’s one of the biggest achievements of your career so far?
Handling a Young Presidents’ Organisation international conference and seminar programme in Egypt where we were able to bring together a massive show of great brains and leadership VIPs from world leaders and people of influence such as the former president of Poland, the former president of Ireland, former U.S. secretary of Defense, Mr. William Perry, Vice President of Iraq Mr. Iyad Allawi, General Scowcroft, former U.S. National Security Advisor under U.S. Presidents Ford and George H. W. Bush and the former first lady of Egypt, Suzanne Mubarak.
What’s the best advice ever given to you and who gave it?
“Just Do it”. This was something we were encouraged to do during our time in the army, but it later became the Nike slogan, and it remains good advice today.
Who do you admire and see as a role model in the industry?
Mr. Geoffrey Kent (the founder, Chairman and CEO of Abercrombie & Kent) whose passion for travel and his impeccable guest relations is an inspiration.
What can people expect from your company and what sets it apart from the rest?
Total care of our guests from beginning to end which is only achieved through team work, impeccable attention to detail and round-the-clock customer care. A&K has a certain style in delivering memorable travel experiences, creating insider access encounters and opportunities as well as those unforgettable WOW moments that our guests remember forever.
What destinations are on your travel bucket list?
Jerusalem, Argentina, the Seychelles and Cuba.
What’s a memorable travel experience you’ve had (good or bad)?
An Autumn road trip across North America from East to West which started in Ottawa, Canada and headed southwest all the way to Los Angeles. It was a huge adventure and a life-changing experience. Travelling with a few friends, we ran out of money and decided to pay for our petrol by forming a band and giving impromptu performances. Having to take on some vocal training was something that I had never expected to do.
What are three things you always take with you when travelling?
A good selection of books, exercise gear and health supplements.
Name someone famous you’d like to travel with and a destination you’d like to go with them.
I would love to travel with Leonardo DiCaprio to Holland. He travelled to Egypt with A&K which I organised. I was lucky enough to enjoy his company during the trip and found him utterly engaging and so appreciative that I would love to travel with him to Holland which is a country I have visited before and one I totally fell in love with.
What direction do you see the industry heading in over the next five to ten years?
I believe the industry is on track for massive growth and I am generally very optimistic. With the easing of geopolitical pressures, I see people travelling to places like Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and I see Arabs exchanging visits with Israelis, I can also see Africans travelling more as regional economies improve.