Karl Merckel 

Vice President of Technology 

Karl in Patagonia on the Chilean side

How long have you been working at the Globus family of brands (Gfob) for?  

I began my journey with Gfob in May 2018, so I’m approaching my sixth year with the company. 

How long have you been in the travel industry for? 

I’ve been immersed in the travel industry for a significant portion of my career. While I initially began in hotel and restaurant management, my transition into technology marked a pivotal shift. I joined SITA, a leading global IT company specialising in communication and technology solutions customised for the aviation sector, serving airlines and airports worldwide. This role allowed me to understand the airline industry, paving the way for my current work at Gfob where I’ve developed a strong interest in travel-related projects. 

What led you to this career? Was this always the plan?  

I was drawn to this career path by a combination of factors; however, I believe it was a matter of destiny. I’ve always been a curious learner and the dynamic nature of technology keeps me engaged and constantly learning. While I’ve worked in various industries as an IT professional, the travel sector has always held a special place in my heart. It offers a unique blend of challenges and opportunities that align perfectly with my interests and skills.  

Tell us the best thing about working in the travel industry?

 The best thing about working in the travel industry is the relationships with my colleagues, the excitement of the products we sell, and the shared love of travel. Collaborating with passionate individuals, offering great travel experiences, and sharing a genuine enthusiasm for exploration make every day fulfilling and enjoyable. 

…as well as the biggest challenge? 

One of the biggest challenges is the rapid pace of technological change, particularly with advancements in artificial intelligence (AI). As AI continues to transform various aspects of the travel experience (from customer service to data analysis), staying ahead of the game becomes increasingly crucial. Adapting our systems, processes, and services to leverage AI effectively while maintaining customer satisfaction and privacy standards poses a significant hurdle. It requires continuous learning, investment, and strategic decision-making to ensure we harness the power of AI to enhance efficiency and deliver exceptional experiences while navigating the complexities of this evolving landscape. 

Tell us one thing people at Gfob don’t know about you? 

I hold citizenship from three different countries: Canada, Australia, and France. While I was born in Canada, I immigrated to Australia in 2007, and both of my parents are French. This background gives me a unique perspective and has allowed me to embrace diverse cultures throughout my life. 

In five years, I will be… 

…enjoying a relaxed lifestyle focused on travel and personal fulfilment. With retirement on the horizon in ten years, I look forward to exploring new destinations, immersing myself in different cultures, and creating lasting memories with loved ones. While I value my career, I also prioritise leisure activities, hobbies, and quality time with family and friends. My aim is to strike a balance to embrace life’s adventures to the fullest. 

What is your best piece of advice for anyone looking to work in the travel industry?  

Stay adaptable and keep learning. Embrace change, stay open-minded, and continuously educate yourself about industry trends and traveller preferences. 

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