The next day of Greek tourism and the dominant role of digital solutions were the main topics of the leading event for the digital marketing for the hotel industry in our country, Digi Hotel by Xenia.
During Xenia trade show digital marketing experts presented through speeches and panel discussions on the stage of Xenia Digi Hotel, the trends, and challenges in global tourism in the post covid era and mapped the new dominant role of digital in hospitality industry and the countless, powerful tools it offers.
Monday 29 November – Post show
Smart hotels, digital relationships, managing the reputation of an accommodation and the creators of true experience, were the themes that dominated the 3rd and last day of the Digi Hotel of Xenia 2021.
The day started with a panel discussion on “Contactless: Today’s Smart Hotel in customer service”, moderated by Ms. Viki Vamiedaki, journalist of 24Media and speakers: Ms. Adriana Yfanti of PowerTech Electronics, Mr. Christos Varsamis of Vivestia and Mr. Alexandros Damigos from Rate Parity. The speakers explained that the state-of-the-art technologies that make a hotel smart and allow its customers to use many of the services without interruption, is something that has accelerated during the pandemic period and will obviously remain not only a habit but also an extra service.
Immediately after, Mr. Giannis Charalampakis, CEO of Hotel Tool Box, spoke in detail about the new era in Apps and how they reduce costs and the organization of the hotel operation. Afterwards, Mr. Alexandros Damigos, CEO of Rate Parity, gave all the details about the operation and services of Chatbots and how they can bring direct reservations to the hotel. An excellent example of a smart hotel in our country, the brand new NAME Hotel Thessaloniki, was presented by Mr. Michalis Chrysochoidis, CEO of Anatolia Hospitality.
Then followed the panel discussion on “Building Digital Relationships with Your Customers: And after cookies what?”, Moderated by Mr. Dimitris Stathopoulos, journalist of travel.gr and speakers by Mr. Iason Milionis of Hotelwize, Mr. Costas Panagakis of Travelworks and the lawyer Mr. Nasos Fanos. The discussion showed that the removal of cookies drastically changes the data in customer relations, but also in advertising and new ways should be sought for hotels to be able to maintain relationships with their customers, or find new ones.
Afterwards, Mr. Nikolas Zartaloudis, CEO of The Digital Garage, developed in detail the topic “Digital communities on Social Media on the platforms of Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. Afterwards, Mr. George Moirotsos CEO and Ms. Chryssa Veneti Sales Contact Leader of ContactPigeon, spoke about the importance and substantial return of Newsletters as a means of communication. The topic “Reviews & Reputation Management” was developed by Mr. Dimitris Lazaridis, Founder of Lazaridis Hospitality Marketing, while Mr. Triantaphyllos Sarafidis, CEO of M-Hospitality, analyzed all the latest trends and developments in CRM and Loyalty.
2021 Digi Hotel closed with an impressive discussion organized by Marketing Greece, on “#Destination Experience Makers: creating the destinations of tomorrow”. The discussion was moderated by Mrs. Ioanna Dretta, CEO of Marketing Greece and speakers Mrs Eleni Mami and Mr. Harry Vasilakos from the Vamvakou Revival Project, Mrs Elina Argyri from We Love Aegina, Mr. Fivos Tsaravopoulos from Paths of Greece, Mr. Giannis Georgiou from the Museum of Hydrokinesis of Anthochori, Metsovo ‘Mantani’ and Mr. Kamilos Nollas from the Vovousa Festival.
Sunday 28 November – Post show
The digital world of advertising and marketing for the hotel industry, digital data, but also the new digital channels that enrich the hotel product and bring revenue to the hotel, were the topics that dominated the second day of Digi Hotel. The day started with a panel on “Hotel Digital Marketing: The next day”, moderated by Mr. Sotiris Varelas, professor at the University of Piraeus and speakers Mr. Giannis Koutsopoulos of Abouthotelier, Konstantinos Androutsos Digital Marketer and Themis Sarantaenas, Marketing Consultants, who presented all the latest developments in digital marketing. This was followed by an extremely interesting workshop hosted by KnowCrunch: “Building a 360 Digital Strategy from scratch” with speakers Apostolis Aivalis of Aival, Dimitris Dimitriadis of TheFutureCats and Tina Michailidou of GR8 Communication who analyzed all the steps that arerequired in order to properly advertise a hotel.
Mr. Dimitris Serifis, CEO of Nelios spoke about the important issue of Search Marketing, giving the checklist for 2022 for SEO and Google ads. The main platforms of Digital Advertising and the comparison of the pros and cons were analyzed by Mr. Kyros Asfis, CEO NeaMesa. The top video ads were presented in a speech entitled “The Rise of Video Ads” by Ms. Lina Bakalexi, Co-Founder of Linear, while immediately after Ms. Katerina Dimitrakopoulou, CEO of Social Mellon, gave the Digi Hotel audience the check evaluation list of Bloggers and Influencers that hotels use to promote themselves. Then the CaptuleT platform presented a very interesting Workshop, entitled “Data and Tourism: How to shape the future of your company through the proper use of data and marketing strategies”, moderated by Ms. Katerina Saridaki and speakers Mr. George Karathanasis of Hotellisense and Mr. Kyriakos Tsigros of Campsaround. The day ended with the co-founder of Triparound Mr. Antonis Chalkiopoulos who presented the services of his company and was followed by Mr. Babis Kourtzis CEO of Exclusivi, who also presented the innovative services of the company.
Saturday 27 November – Post show
The discussion started with the Greek hotels report, during the years of the pandemic. With Mr. Giannis Giannakakis from Tornos News coordinating and the scientific director of INSETE Mr. Aris Ikko, Mr. Harry Neofitidis of Chandris Hotels and Mrs. Vicky Dorzioti from AHIA Hospitality, as speakers, the discussion captured everything that happened in the previous 20 months in the hotel industry. The extremely difficult tourist year was followed by an unexpectedly good one, but the challenges for the hotels continue, as the speakers stressed, while analyzing the situation and asking for vigilance from the industry’s professionals. This year’s results in the direct online bookings of Greek hotels were impressive according to the data presented by Mr. Maximos Tzanos, Head of B2B Department of WebHotelier, who, however, appeared moderately optimistic about the next season. As he stressed, all the destinations will be open next summer and the Greek hoteliers will have to prepare properly. Today’s traveler wants to experience something unique, emphasized Mr. Markos Giannisopoulos, Area Manager of Greece, Cyprus and Bulgaria of the Expedia Group and analyzed the latest trends in travel around the world, as reflected by the online company’s research. Mr. Nassos Gavalas, President of the Association of Greek Short Term Lease Companies (STAMA), spoke about the Short Term Rentals and the next day trends in the constantly emerging sector. A very interesting discussion about the new era in hotel sales and the consolidation of Digital, was moderated by Mr. Giannis Fotis of Novus Mind and Mr. Theodoros Katsimbras of Bookonline, Mr. Mario Kounelis of PrimalRes and Mrs. Stella Bag of INcrementUM, as speakers.
Digi Hotel’s topics continued with Mr. Eugenios Vasilikos Partner & coCeo of Capital H, analyzing the way a hotel in the pandemic changed the distribution and finally saved… the lot. Mr. Vasilikos presented the case study of his Group hotels and gave key tips on how a hotel may not depend on a single sales channel. Mr. Michalis Vardaros CEO of The Hotel Way presented afterwards the issue of Contracting and the predominance of Dynamic Contracts and later Mr. Vassilis Riavoglou Business Development Manager Eastern Mediterranean & Balkans of OTA Insight spoke about the new era in the pricing of hotel rooms. The first day of Digi Hotel closed with a very interesting discussion about Sustainability as a main marketing tool for hotels, with Ms. Maria Paravanti from GTP Headlines as a moderator and Mr. Ioannis Pappas Mediterranean Region at GSTC (Global Sustainable Tourism Council), Mr. Alexandros Angelopoulos of Aldemar Resorts) and Ms. Vicky Karantzavelou of NatTour, as speakers.