Expansion and automation of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotel‘s electronic services was approved under the Ministry of Economy’s Information Society program, said the chamber’s president, Gerasimos Fokas, at a meeting held with the tourism press corps last month in front of June 28 chamber elections.
“The new electronic services will enhance the quality of service towards our members while reducing bureaucracy and costs,” explained Mr. Fokas. The online applications planned will allow for payment of membership dues, submission of prices, awarding of certifications, and permit members to update their information in the hotel guide.
Mr. Fokas added that a data bank consisting of the technical and operational requirements for hotels, as well as legal information, also will be available on-line. “Even voting electronically will be possible,” he said.
In planning for the new service, it was determined that about 4,000 of the 10,000 member hotels did not have computer access. Through another program, those hotels will be able to apply for funding assistance to purchase the hardware and software required through a quick and easy process.
Another important development mentioned by Mr. Fokas is that the hotelier welfare fund is being merged with the social insurance fund for freelance businesses, which will ensure higher pensions and guaranteed medical care.
The chamber’s immediate plans include establishing its own accreditation body, to be approved by the National Accreditation Council, which will have the authority to certify hotel class ratings according to various standards such as ISO and HACCP.
Mr. Fokas closed by saying that meetings with the ministry have been set up to discuss matters that remain unresolved such as hotel zoning issues (as we go to press, a government decision awaiting one final signature says all areas except Athens and Thessaloniki are free for five-star hotel government subsidies), and training and education for small and medium sized hotel businesses.