Employee Spotlight - Tijl Speetjens, Senior Business Development Manager

Employee Spotlight - Tijl Speetjens, Senior Business Development Manager

OTA Insight’s workforce is formed of passionate and talented people from 31 different nationalities, ranging from data scientists to product managers – all driven by a set of values and a collaborative culture which come together to make the #BestTeamEver. The Employee Spotlight series aims to give you an insight into the careers of some of the remarkable individuals who make OTA Insight the industry leader for revenue and distribution enablement.

Tijl Speetjens works at OTA Insight from Leuven in Belgium, as Senior Business Development Manager for the EMEA region. Tijl has a wealth of experience, having been with OTA Insight for three and a half years, and has seen the company grow considerably since he first arrived. We recently spoke to Tijl to learn more about his journey and career at OTA Insight.

Can you tell us about your role at OTA Insight and how it's changed since you started?

When I started we only had one product, which was Rate Insight. I was mainly focusing on the Benelux region, the market I was most familiar with at the time, being from that area. Rapidly my market coverage grew to Benelux and Scandinavia and now I have four products to work with as well. In terms of responsibilities, it was largely focusing on adding new hotels. But, before I knew it, I was supporting an extensive portfolio. This meant giving educational webinars, participating in panels and guest lecturing at universities. 

What does a typical day look like for you?

I usually wake-up at six o’clock and walk the dog, then help my wife with the morning rush and drop the kids off at school. At eight, eight-thirty I start my working day with a coffee. The great part about working at OTA Insight is that there is no typical day but usually I always start by catching up on my emails. After that it all depends on current priorities I have for the week, but prospecting, conducting webinars and supporting existing partners makes up the DNA of my usual day. 

What has been your proudest moment at OTA Insight?

My proudest moment at OTA Insight is not a specific moment but more a period. It was amazing to see how we shifted priorities during the pandemic and were able to adapt to the new normal. It was great to see how well teams worked together to make the best out of a very disruptive situation. We’re not at the end quite yet but from what I have seen, I am sure we will come out of this stronger.

Which OTA Insight value do you associate with most and how do you see it put into action at the company?

Putting the partner first and humility. During the pandemic we really supported our partners as best as we could. In a time of distress for everyone in the industry we were being flexible as possible, be this with different payment plans or compensation. We showed how humble we are by acknowledging that our success wouldn’t have ever been achieved without their contribution.

Recovery looks to be on the horizon, do you anticipate a rebound travel and hospitality industry as we move into the latter half of 2021?

Although we still have a couple of difficult months ahead I am convinced that markets will gradually rebound and things will improve. We won't return to pre-pandemic levels right away, that will take time, but it will get there eventually. 

Once restrictions are fully lifted which destination do you wish to travel to first? 

Business wise I would say Oslo as it was my last destination I travelled to for business purposes and want to maintain that connection with the market. Personally, I would like to travel to Altea in Spain as we have family living there who we haven’t been able to see for a long time now. 

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

My kids, two daughters of one and a half years and almost five years, my wife and the dog.

What’s your favourite activity in your spare time?

I’m an ex-basketball player who is now into biking.

What book are you reading currently?

Bike Life: Travel Different by Tristan Bogaard and Belen Castello.

What’s the last song you played on Spotify/Apple music?

Live Slow Ride Fast podcast.

 

Tijl’s experience alongside that of other OTA Insight champions help to bring to market leading business intelligence solutions which are trusted by over 55,000 hotel partners around the globe and have been named #1 Rate Shopping & Market Intelligence Tool, Parity Management Software, and Business Intelligence Software by HotelTechReport.

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