The Hellenic Chamber of Hotels on Friday presented a new e-tourism initiative aimed to improve tourism sector growth and the visitor experience in Athens by encompassing all touch points from planning stage through to memory sharing.
The initiative involves a new platform that is in the works and focuses on online booking, organizing travel and boosting business partnerships within the tourism industry of the Greek capital.
“This platform aims to offer hoteliers an accommodation booking system as well as a tool to manage reservations, for shop owners to display their products, for health enterprises to present their services, for travel agencies and rent a car businesses to help them organize packages for visitors”, the chamber’s president, Yiorgos Tsakiris, said while presenting the platform on the sidelines of the 2nd Greek Tourism Expo at the Metropolitan Expo.
Through the platform, the chamber aims to boost the transition of Athens’ tourism industry into the digital economy, develop new high technological value products/services and make them available to potential city visitors and tourists in accordance to the “dream – plan – book – visit – share” experience.
The platform will be multilingual (Greek, English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Chinese) and is expected to include some 500 hotels, 2,000 tourism enterprises, 900 points of interest, activities, experiences, a 7-language tourist guide designed for mobile devices iOS, Android, Windows, e-tourism B2B and B2C services of third international bodies and businesses.
Through the platform visitors can use the travel package app and select a hotel, find information on how to go and return from the place of origin to/from Athens and proceed to booking through third party systems, identify sites and other attractions near the hotel of choice, organize entertainment and activities and plan out a personalized city tour.
According to the chamber, the platform will encourage synergies between different tourism service providers in order to launch personalized services to travellers that will strengthen and improve the overall visitor experience and this way promote good business practices that will have a strong multiplier effect on Athens’ tourism market.
The basic design principles of the platform, according to the “Greek Geeks – Dataverse” consortium which is responsible for its creation, include organizing the content to promote the strategic goals (city break, congress etc.) through the comparative advantages of Athens, responsive Design, offering accessible tourism for the tourists with special needs, integrating third party systems services (skyscanner, rome2rio, google maps, reputation management etc.) and assuring compatibility with applications for mobile, user-friendly content management platform.
The new platform will be designed to support e-commerce in a modern way with digital services of Property & Channel Management, Reputation & Presentation Management, e-Coupons, Booking Engine.
“Our ultimate goal is to expand the project across the country in the coming years”, Mr Tsakiris said.
“In any case, the final outcome of the project will be judged by the mobilization and participation of tourism enterprises — regardless of their size or activity — in the platform and certainly by the synergies that will arise for our visitors, he added.
A pilot version of the platform will launch in February. In the meantime, the hotel chamber will plans to introduce the platform to all tourism businesses operating in Athens.