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Google Athens Event Reveals the Way We Travel

Travel_keyboardIn efforts to inform travel-related businesses and professionals on the latest trends as well as examine the impact of the internet on travel, Travel@Google organized a day event titled “The Way We Travel” in Athens, last week.

During the event, agents and agencies had the chance to gain insight into the latest travel trends through the experience of Iberia, Tourradar and Innovation Protocol, and learn about how to tap into the potential of digital platforms.

An estimated 37 percent of sales at hotels in Europe will be conducted online by 2016, a Google study on travel carried out by Ipsos MediaCT in June 2014 revealed.

Would-be travelers begin their “journey” online using search engines for about 2.4 weeks prior to booking travel details and visit an average 18 sites before choosing accommodation.

In the meantime, smart phones are gaining ground in the holiday booking process with searches for vacations in Greece increasing by 72 percent this year. Athens tops the searches for Greek destinations followed by Rhodes, Mykonos, Kos and Crete.

At the same time, Google data found that 51 percent of EU households use the Internet for their trips. Greek tourism enterprises should use this information in order to create tools and apps that will “attract” the user during his search.

mobile-booking-hotels“The Internet and the increasing use of mobile phones has changed the way travelers think and act in Greece. In our country, tourism is a very important industry and the possibilities the digital economy brings can help businesses grow and respond to the needs of consumers in Greece and abroad,” said Dimitris Kossyfas, Industry Manager Travel Google.

“In efforts to educate tourism entrepreneurs to make use of available digital tools, we launched the Grow Greek Tourism Online initiative. Today, in the same way, we are offering companies and travel agencies the opportunity to learn about and exchange best practices in order to improve their digital strategies and be informed of new Google products such as Hotel Ads,” Mr Kossyfas added.

The Athens event recommends tourism professionals in Greece take heed of the following conclusions:

-use digital tools to get to know consumers better and to effectively meet their needs.

-each consumer transaction is a point of contact and provides insight into ways of becoming more efficient, offering improved services and better quality products.

-tap into the moment: consumers make decisions in a series of instances – identify those “instances” and move in.

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