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Greek Hotels Embrace Technology as Tool for Development

Technology has played a significant role in the development of Greek hotels during the last years, with the majority of hoteliers offering advanced – and even smarttechnology features to its guests in efforts to upgrade the hospitality experience.

According to a survey conducted by the Institute for Tourism Research and Forecasts (ITEP), Greek hotels have invested significant resources in technology tools offered inside and outside their premises.

Some of the technology features offered inside the hotel include electronic locks (31 percent), smart TVs (46 percent), contactless check-in (28.6 percent) and fast check-out (42.5 percent), mobile apps (17.7 percent) and web meetings infrastructure (10.5 percent).

In addittion, the vast majority of Greece’s hotels – 99.4 percent – provide their guests with wifi connection. Almost 97 percent offer free wifi access in all public areas and 91.7 percent in all rooms.

Wifi connection speed is considered sufficient in the majority of Greek hotels (67.2 percent), especially in high-category units and year-round hotels.

The largest satisfaction rates have been reported in Attica (excluding its islands) at 86.1 percent, the South Aegean islands with 73.8 percent and Crete with almost 70 percent.

These areas are followed by the Peloponnese (69,3 percent), Epirus-Thessaly (68.2 percent), the Ionian Islands (64.6 percent), the North Aegean islands (61.4 percent), Central Greece (59.5 percent) and Macedonia-Thrace (55.2 percent).

Internet presence and social media

Aiming to promote their properties and services, the majority of Greek hotels – 92 percent – have their own website. Of the hotels that do not have one, 81 percent said they would create one if funding is available.

The survey also showed that most hotel websites have been translated in 1.3 languages on average. However, 64 percent of hotels would like to translate their website in 2.6 languages on average. This means that the majority – almost 53 percent – are interested in providing their users with the option of two languages, while 22.5 percent would like to offer three.

Meanwhile, the vast majority – over 3/4 – of hotels have a profile on social media that is updated on a weekly basis by specialized personnel working in the hotel.

In order to create a social media profile, over 50 percent of hotels have collaborated with professionals to develop their profiles’ photos, translation and digital content (banners, commercials, menus, video stories etc).

Technology and hotel management

The ITEP survey also presented some interested data regarding the use of technology in hotel operation and management.

According to its findings, special management tools such as PMS, Channel Manager and booking engines are being used by hotels to increase bookings and occupancy rates, however there are other specialized programs that are not that widely used.

ITEP has provided data for the following management systems and programs:

Property Management System – PMS
4.076 hotels have installed a basic edition of a Property Management System (PMS), however a large number– 4,281 – are not aware of the PMS

Channel Manager
3,282 hotels operate a Channel Manager system but 2.873 are not aware

Booking Engine
4.593 operate a Booking Engine against 2.320 that do not have one

Reputation Management
1.518 hotels know and operate a Reputation Management program, but 4.924 are not aware

Revenue Management
1.363 hotels have installed a Revenue Manager program but 5.119 are not aware of the program

Businesses Intelligence
1.376 hotels know and operate a Business Intelligence system while 5.742 are not aware

Enterprise Resource Planning – ERP
Only 770 hotels know and operate an Enterprise Resource Planning program while 6.573 are not aware

Investment Priorities

When asked about their technology investment priorities, Greek hoteliers first referred to their website, wifi connection and social media presence.

Their next priorities include the PMS, the Booking Engine, the Channel Manager system, the Reputation, Revenue Management and Bussiness Intelligence programs and the ERP.

The survey also indicates that the willingness of hoteliers to invest in technology hinges on a number of factors including the cost of installment (86.8 percent), maintenance (54.9 percent) and training (31.1 percent); the lack of funding (49.5 percent) and specialized personnel (39.4 percent); doubt about the purpose of the investment (22.8 percent); and the lack of familiarity and trust in the use of new technologies (21.6 and 6.8 percent respectively).

However, the majority of Greek hoteliers – around 80 percent – wish to receive information and training (for themselves and staff) on new technologies and modern digital marketing methods.

The survey titled “The integration and use of new technologies in the operation of hotels” was presented by ITEP General Director George Petrakos during a conference organized recently by the Tourism Ministry and the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels under the theme “The next day of the Greek hotel: Utilizing the financial resources”.

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About the Author
Eleftheria has worked for several financial newspapers, magazines and websites during the past 19 years. Between 2004 and 2014 she worked as a radio producer, reporter and presenter for the Greek and English language program of “Athina 9.84 FM”. She also has hands-on experience in the MICE industry.

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