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Healthy Competition Essential in Greek Hospitality, Says Hotel Chamber

Hellenic Chamber of Hotels President Alexandros Vassilikos on Saturday called for a clear and solid framework to regulate the activities of the short-term rental market in Greece.

Opening the chamber’s 3rd International Hospitality Forum in Athens, Vassilikos stressed that it is essential for Greek hotels to operate in an environment of healthy competition, without the “distortions” created by the unfair competition of uncontrolled short-term leases (Airbnb-style rentals).

“We are all in favor of a free economy, but not in favor of an uncontrolled one,” the chamber’s president said, adding that by taking hardly any actions for the phenomenon, the short-term rental market has created problems that go beyond the issue of unfair competition and has left a “negative footprint” οn society itself.

Hellenic Chamber of Hotels President Alexandros Vassilikos.

Hellenic Chamber of Hotels President Alexandros Vassilikos.

“So our position is clear. The sharing economy model is here to stay and the ‘clock’ of technological evolution is not turning back… What we are actually asking for is to look deeper at international practices that all popular global and European destinations adopt… It is necessary, based on the best practices in Europe, to establish a clear and solid framework for regulating the activities (of the short-term rental market),” he underlined.

“At the end of the day, the success of every hotelier, every hotel, is a benefit for the development of every local economy, for the cohesion of every local community,” Vassilikos said.

3rd IHF aims to tackle challenges

3rd IHF - Panel 1: "The Challenge of Driving Direct Bookings: Taking back control over hotel distribution" - Moderator: Dr. Peter O'Connor, Senior Market Analyst, Phocuswright. Speakers: Ian Macleod, Chief Marketing Officer for Hotel tech SaaS, Triptease; Frank Reeves, Co-founder and CEO, Avvio; and Paulo Salvador, Consultant, Founder & Professor in Marketing and Innovation.

3rd IHF – Panel 1: “The Challenge of Driving Direct Bookings: Taking back control over hotel distribution” – Moderator: Dr. Peter O’Connor, Senior Market Analyst, Phocuswright. Speakers: Ian Macleod, Chief Marketing Officer for Hotel tech SaaS, Triptease; Frank Reeves, Co-founder and CEO, Avvio; and Paulo Salvador, Consultant, Founder & Professor in Marketing and Innovation.

In its third year, the chamber’s International Hospitality Forum (IHF) touched on issues concerning the challenge of hoteliers in driving direct bookings; the need to rethink F&B and make it the heart and soul of a hotel; and how hoteliers can tackle the challenge of attracting and keeping high quality and committed staff in order to have satisfied guests.

The three panel discussions hosted Greek and international experts, prominent academics and representatives of recognized consulting firms.

3rd IHF - Panel 2: "Rethinking Hotel F&B: Stop thinking of hotel F&B as hotel F&B". Moderator: Maria Theofanopoulou, CEO, Greek Travel Pages (GTP). Speakers: Tim Ananiadis, General Manager/Managing Director, Hotel Grande Bretagne & King George; Thomas Douzis, Co-Founder and CEO, ERGON Foods; and Dr. Cindy Y. Heo, Associate Professor of Revenue Management, École hôtelière de Lausanne.

3rd IHF – Panel 2: “Rethinking Hotel F&B: Stop thinking of hotel F&B as hotel F&B”. Moderator: Maria Theofanopoulou, CEO, Greek Travel Pages (GTP). Speakers: Tim Ananiadis, General Manager/Managing Director, Hotel Grande Bretagne & King George; Thomas Douzis, Co-Founder and CEO, ERGON Foods; and Dr. Cindy Y. Heo, Associate Professor of Revenue Management, École hôtelière de Lausanne.

Highlighting the importance of the 3rd IHF, Hellenic Chamber of Hotels President Alexandros Vassilikos stressed that challenges are many for the hospitality industry.

“From the 4th post-industrial revolution that is rapidly transforming the whole spectrum of human activities to the consequences of climate change… What counts at the end of the day are the competitive advantages that will shield our product with quality and will ensure its sustainability,” he said.

3rd IHF - Panel 3: "Happy Workforce – Happy Guest: Increase your employees engagement by challenging existing norms". Moderator: Maria Theofanopoulou, CEO, Greek Travel Pages (GTP). Speakers: Dr. Stéphanie Pougnet-Rozan, Assistant Professor of Talent Management, École hôtelière de Lausanne; Katerina Santikou, Managing Director, Workathlon; and Micah Solomon, Influencer and Thought Leader on Customer Service, Customer Experience & Hospitality.

3rd IHF – Panel 3: “Happy Workforce – Happy Guest: Increase your employees engagement by challenging existing norms”. Moderator: Maria Theofanopoulou, CEO, Greek Travel Pages (GTP). Speakers: Dr. Stéphanie Pougnet-Rozan, Assistant Professor of Talent Management, École hôtelière de Lausanne; Katerina Santikou, Managing Director, Workathlon; and Micah Solomon, Influencer and Thought Leader on Customer Service, Customer Experience & Hospitality.

The chamber’s president underlined that through the IHF series, the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels aims to stand by Greek hoteliers in the effort to face the market’s challenges.

“We will continue enriching the forum to serve the hotelier’s need for direct contact with the ‘bigger picture’ of hospitality in every aspect,” Vassilikos said.

The 3rd International Hospitality Forum took place on the sidelines of the opening day of the Xenia 2019 exhibition.

The Greek Travel Pages (GTP) was a communication sponsor of the 3rd International Hospitality Forum.

About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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