The majority of Greek hoteliers expect the impact of the Covid-19 health crisis to last, according to a nationwide study conducted by the Ionian University’s Tourism Department.
More specifically, according to the study titled “Response of Greek Hotel Units to the New Conditions of the Covid-19 Pandemic”, 84.4 percent of those polled said they believe the impact of Covid on the tourism industry will continue to be significant in the coming years, while 77 percent expect it will affect future investment in tourism.
Research, conducted on a sample of 501 hotel enterprises in all Greek regions over the September-November 2020 period with the support of the tourism ministry, examined overall satisfaction with access to information about the pandemic, industry concerns and challenges, digital transition and innovation.
The majority (78.6 percent) of hotel executives turn to the internet for accurate and useful information regarding the virus and use it as a key source of information affecting business decisions.
For more than half of those surveyed, the internet is a key source of information for prospective customers. Research found that Greek hotel companies are only beginning to go digital. Six in 10 companies (59 percent) already use their website as a basic information platform for visitors about Covid-19 protocols while 48 percent use social networking platforms to provide information about the company’s response policy to potential coronavirus incidents.
Besides information online, three in 10 hotel companies have developed digital customer service applications on mobile and tablets (mobile check-in, mobile/tablet unit information, mobile communication etc), as well as mobile QR code applications for digital menus/brochures/posters.
A smaller percentage, about 24-25 percent of hotel companies have installed advanced dynamic pricing information and customer service (CRM) systems.
The study findings also reveal that three in 10 (24.8 percent) of those polled said they developed new services each tourist season with one in 10 saying they didn’t.
In terms of flexibility to address the fluctuations in demand, just 19.4 percent of hotel executives surveyed said they had the capacity to address fluctuations in demand. Almost 44 percent said they had difficulty in getting access to the necessary financial capital that will give them more flexibility.
Businesses with more flexibility were more likely to develop moderate or high innovation.