El Mahdi Ait Benidar

  • Marrakech, Morocco

Group Sales Manager Application - Four Seasons Marrakech

Work History

Work History
Oct 2014 - Present

Operations Manager

Morocco Private Travel / DMC of Heritage Tours Private Travel

Sales & Marketing:

  • Managing VIP accounts, Corporate & MICE Business.
  • Setting up relationships with new agents across the globe, providing them with rates, itineraries and being their point of contact. 
  • Looking after existing relationships with agents.
  • Producing reports for sales figures for Morocco Private Travel, General Sales Figures and Targets and Monthly and Annual Budgets for each specific Market.
  • Attending Trade Shows to introduce Morocco Private Travel.
  • Attending Road shows to visit new and existing agents.
  • Creating ways to increase sales and conversion rates of existing enquiries.
  • Standardization of the policy: itineraries, quoting, selling prices and presentations.
  • Supervising the Reservations Team.

FAM TRIP, Product Development & Training:

  • Sales Training for in house team and external agents.
  • Training of Staff including new arrivals, FAM trips and continuous training for existing employees.
  • Working with supplier’s throughout the country to strengthen existing relationships and producing new ones.
  • Develop new Insider Access
  • Establishing strong control over suppliers, created by the awareness of who we are and the least we can accept by regular visits and friendly phone calls.
Dec 2012 - Sep 2014

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT & CONTRACTING MANAGER

Abercrombie & Kent Morocco
  • Negotiate all supplier contracts (hotels/vehicles etc…) to ensure competitive rates for A&K.
  • Internal Auditor of supplier relations.
  • Product Development: 
    - Research new products in line with Sales & Marketing needs / Market Development 
    - Be responsible for developing new Cruise product offerings ( in conjunction with global and local Cruise team)
    - Constantly research and maintain Insider Access list 
    - Ensure each new supplier is fully vetted & briefed before A&K starts to work with them
    - Compile information on all new product generated by Ops, Sales & Marketing team or Management, investigate the feasibility and standards
Nov 2009 - Nov 2012

Senior Travel Specialist

Abercrombie & Kent Morocco
  • My responsibilities include the complete planning of various travel arrangements, from gathering destination information to making recommendations based on my expertise, followed by using my connections in the travel industry to secure reservations for my clients.
  • Supervising A&K USA Account (Tour Series, Private Travel, CEO’s & VIP’s requests).
  • Increasing sales by sourcing new clients. 
  • Planning and organising bespoke luxury travel around Morocco for VIP travelers. Coordinating all travel plans from Private Jets to Helicopters rides, extreme adventures to city breaks and luxury hotels stays.
  • Ensuring that enquiries are responded to within 24hrs.
  • Respect client confidentiality.
  • Listen to clients needs and give options taking into account directness of routing, cost and Preference.
  • Share product knowledge and offer help where required.
  • Be open to Constructive comments from team members.
  • Always prioritize workload.
May 2009 - Oct 2009

Reservations Manager

La Maison Arabe
  • Conducting all hotel inspections for sales and marketing.
  • Resolving client issues in an understanding manner.
  • Inputting data into the office booking system to maintain accurate records.
  • Reading guest comments and researching guest feedback through various sources on how to enhance the service quality.
  • Maintaining detailed and up to date product knowledge of the company and services offered; also keeping abreast of what competitors are doing.
Oct 2008 - May 2009

Tour Consultant

Abercrombie & Kent Morocco
  • Coordinating holiday packages as per the customer requirements.
  • Quoting for worldwide travel agents and Tour Operators Dealing with Virtuoso, Signature & 100 Club accounts. A&K’s AKORN brand, A&K’s SMC offices and direct clients.
  • FIT Specialist. Creating a range complex and simple tailor made itineraries to meet and exceed the client’s requirements.
  • Comprising and costing for Group tours and brochures.
  • Attending educational trips, and hosting incoming agents.
  • Follow-up with clients with respect to booking related matters.
  • Responsibility for price quotations to the clients and collection of payments.
Jun 2006 - Oct 2008

Front Office Assistant 

La Maison Arabe
  • Taking care of all clients with discretion, privacy and attention to detail.
  • Complaint handling and guest grievances, empathising with clients and sorting out a solution for them.
  • Taking care of clients from the check in to the show around and also being a personal point of contact.
  • Ensure all incoming calls are answered and dealt with immediately in a professional manner as per the hotels standards.
  • Acting as a concierge to arrange any extra services for clients.
Oct 2005 - May 2006

Reservations Assistant 

Kasbah Agafay (SLH member)
  • Client Services – being the client’s first point of contact in the hotel.
  • Being trained and able to work in many areas of the Kasbah including stock control and concierge.
  • Ensuring that confirmation was sent for new reservations and following up on those without correspondence within given deadlines.
May 2005 - Oct 2005

Front Office Assistant 

Hotel el Mourabitine
  • Check-in & check out.
  • Billing.

Education

Education
Oct 2002 - Jul 2004

Degree in Tourism & Leisure

Mohamed VI - Essaouira
  • Modules Include Marketing, Communication Skills, Finance, Employment Law, Political Tourism in Morocco and across the globe
Sep 2000 - Jul 2002

Baccalauréat Sciences Economiques

Safi

Software/Systems Skills & Languages

  • Microsoft Office: Word, Excel & PowerPoint.
  • Travel Studio, Hotix, Hotel Easy & Pluriel - Reservation Systems.
  • Language Skills- Fluent (Spoken & Written) in Arabic, French and English.

Personal Interests 

Cinema, Writing, Travel & Tennis.

References

Available on www.Linkedin.com

 "I worked with Mahdi for the past 4 years, I enjoyed our open relationship which was always focused on how we can further build on the success of our partnership, driving revenue to A&K Morocco exploring business opportunities via the partnership with hotels. I value Mahdi’s straight forward and direct approach focusing on the objectives at hand.."

Simo Manfalouti, Travel Studio & Contracting Manager, Abercrombie & Kent, worked directly with El Mahdi at Abercrombie & Kent

 

"Mahdi is a great asset -- he is conscientious, thorough and very knowledgeable, as well as being a great pleasure to work with!"

Ann Epting, Senior Vice President, Product Development, Abercrombie & Kent, Inc., worked with El Mahdi at Abercrombie & Kent

 

"Mahdi is an excellent professional. His time management with his work load is exceptional. Mahdi has built up very good connections within the industry, and is loved by both suppliers and clients. I would highly recommend Mahdi as an employee, and would be an asset to any company."

Sarah Quigley, Travel Specialist Team Leader, Abercrombie and Kent Morocco, managed El

Mahdi indirectly at ABERCROMBIE & KENT MOROCCO

 

"Mahdi provides a high quality service from providing detailed and priced proposals, discussing, developing and agreeing them with clients, to implementing them with accuracy and professionalism. He is a most personable young man with excellent English."

Geoffrey King, was El Mahdi's client

 

"Mahdi is a great travel expert, always on time, very creative and helpful and delivers excellent results."

Sam Mustafa, was El Mahdi's client

 

"Mahdi is very smart & quick. These 2 features alone make him do a lot of work in no time and as best as it can get. He is a very pleasant member to the team- working with a confident professional smile. He loves his work!"

Tamer Sobh, System Project Manager, Abercrombie & Kent, worked with El Mahdi at

Abercrombie & Kent

 

"Working with mehdi for a couple of months was a fascinating experience for me. I’ve found in him competence and trust. These two elements are solid foundations for a healthy long-term business. "

Rachid Aboulhoussni, A&K Tour Guide, reported to El Mahdi at Abercrombie & Kent

 

“I can highly recommend El Mahdi's work ethic. The attention to details and quick response when things are needed are tops! I used El Mahdi's services many times as a Custom Tour Consultant in the USA when I designed tours to Morroco. I would not have had my success without his help.”

Laraine Burns, works as International Sales Consultant at AMA TRAVEL INTERNATIONAL

 

“I have the pleasure of working with Mahdi at A&K Morocco. He is an extremely impressive individual; energetic, passionate about his subject, creative in his ideas, with a great talent for forging relationships. He is an exceptional Travel expert and a tenacious researcher, a combination which allows him to immerse himself in unfamiliar environments with remarkable ease. Mahdi will be a great asset to any organisation he works with.”

Hana Aourik, works as Senior Travel Specialist at Abercrombie & Kent Morocco