In 2008, Greek hotelier Dimosthenis Leontis launched Lamway Hotel Management Group to provide management strategies to hotel owners to strengthen their position on the market.
In 2016, Leontis took his experience a bit further and joined Hotelising, an independent service provider for hotel owners that focuses on revenue maximization. Hotelising acts as an extension of a hotel’s marketing and sales department, offering a privileged spot amongst the key players of the industry.
GTP Headlines recently spoke to Leontis who analyzed the exact focus of Hotelising and gave the latest on his company Lamway. He also expressed his concerns for the industry and gave his forecast for the 2018 tourism season in Greece.
GTP Headlines’ pick:
“We all need to try and maintain a high quality service, so as to keep and further grow Greece’s brand identity.” – Dimosthenis Leontis
- GTP: You are the founder of Lamway Hotel Management Group, a successful company, operating since 2008. In 2016, you decided to join Hotelising, a hotel sales/ revenue management company. Why did you make that decision? What is Hotelising’ focus and how does it contribute to the success of a hotel?
Dimosthenis Leontis: Being a hotelier myself, and also running Lamway Group for the last decade, I always knew the importance of sales for a hotel’s revenue growth. Keeping track of data, managing extranets and taking pricing decisions can be very time consuming. Additionally, there is a number of opportunities that remain underdeveloped. The complexity of all these, is a struggle for hoteliers. That’s why Hotelising was created, in order to effectively manage all these, and the hotelier focus on the operation of the hotel.
- GTP: What are the advantages of a hotel that joins Hotelising?
Dimosthenis Leontis: Revenue and profit maximization is our priority. We achieve that through numerous contacts, from tour operators to travel agents, that our member hotels gain access to, through revenue management, and by increasing direct bookings. Contracting with major tour operators and travel agents is essential, and we have stable cooperations, that we trust, and back up the hotel during the low season. Nevertheless, the growth of direct bookings is our focus.
- GTP: How has the market welcomed Hotelising and in which destinations is its presence most noticed?
Dimosthenis Leontis: Sales management companies are continually growing, as hoteliers, quite frequently, wish to keep the operation of their property. We are very content, as all of our member have seen their revenue grow, as we strongly focus in long term agreements. This is our company philosophy for both Lamway and Hotelising. Our member hotels are in the Cyclades, and specifically in Santorini, Paros, Naxos, Ios and Mykonos. We will be expanding to mainland within 2018.
- GTP: 2017 has been labeled a record for Greek tourism. How was the year for Lamway and Hotelising Group and its client hotels in terms of average occupancy and average turnover?
Dimosthenis Leontis: Indeed, we have achieved a significant growth to average daily rate and occupancies, growing our turnover by 18%.
- GTP: What are your future plans and what more will your company provide to its customers?
Dimosthenis Leontis: We will continue utilizing technology, and to operate for the best results with tools of the highest standard. Our aim is to be constantly updated to the latest trends of our industry, and deliver this knowledge to our group of hotels.
- GTP: What are the three major concerns you have as a hospitality professional? What challenges need to be addressed?
Dimosthenis Leontis: My major concern is the political imbalance of our country, and of course the taxation. Hoteliers need to fight against a hostile political environment. We all need to try and maintain a high quality service, so as to keep and further grow Greece’s brand identity.
- GTP: Being a hotelier yourself, what are your thoughts on the new “stayover tax” that has been imposed on Greek hotels as of January 1?
Dimosthenis Leontis: Tourists are familiarized with paying a stayover tax, so I do not expect this to have a negative impact. But, once again, I feel that we need to focus our attention to the service we provide, and, at the end of the day, make our hotels value for money.
- GTP: Although it is still quite early, what is your forecast for this year’s tourism season in Greece?
Dimosthenis Leontis: The messages from the World Travel Market (WTM) in London, and the New York Times Travel Show, were very positive. We have already seen a rise in bookings, compared to last year, so I strongly believe it will be a good year for Greek tourism.