Trésor Hotels & Resorts as a Hospitality Leader in "Hotel & Restaurant" magazine
The “treasured” affiliation.
Managing Director of Trésor Hotels & Resorts - Mr. Panagiotis Pantazopoulos – talks about the development and growth of the firm within and beyond the Greek frontiers.
Interview by Isavela Zabetaki
How do you perceive the trend of joining hotel affiliations in Greece?
P.P: The trends of our times, lead towards the integration of multiple hotels under and within the framework of what is a group. In the USA, 75% of hotels operate in an environment of affiliations. This trend begun at least a decade ago and continues to withhold its initial momentum. It is far more difficult to achieve the sustainability of a sole hotel within the market without having to spend a fortune, instead of belonging to a group of hotels who will undertake the continuous and successful promotion and projection of all of its hotels together. At the same time, the attraction of a high-end clientele is prone to happen from within synergies of hotels of equal values and qualities.
In what ways does Trésor Hotels & Resorts differ from other hotel chains?
P.P: The fact that we focus on small, luxury hotels that are willing and able to provide an authentic experience plus a personalized hospitality to guests, is what truly makes us differ. Those are very important prerequisites for Trésor, thus, it is the essence of what differentiates hotel-members from those of other affiliations, let alone the fact that our hotel-members are certified through various processes and audits. Through our Harmonization Team which visits the hotels that have applied for a membership, we are able to ensure that all prerequisites are met before acceptance. After a hotel has joined our chain and has become one of our hotel-members, a training session will follow which lasts for a month. From then onwards, we carry out audits on a regular basis by combining mystery shopping and client satisfaction questionnaires.
On a more technical level, we also differ from other affiliations due to the fact that we bind ourselves to the recording of guest preferences and subsequently by informing our hotel-members about those preferences. Therefore, if a guest asked for soft pillows in our hotel-member in Andros island, this same guest will also find soft pillows across our hotel-members next time they make a reservation with us, without having to ask for them. Those guest preferences are recorded by a specially trained employee at each and every hotel-member and the information becomes available at our central system for as long as legislation allows for personal data to be stored and available. Another platform that we have set up for information sharing between our hotel-members, is the online forum where mainly the Managers of our hotel-members can exchange opinions between them and discuss issues, but also a platform to which they can turn to if they wish to receive added know-how concerning IT, marketing and sales. This is an exquisite tool and we are very pleased that our hotel-members use it on a daily basis.
How close are you in reaching your initial goal of acquiring 40 hotel-members in your chain?
P.P: Our goal will be reached within 2013. We already have 21 hotel-members and during summer we will reach 30. By the end of the current year we plan to add the remaining number up to 40 from co-operations with winter destinations. We do receive a sound number of applications which include very good applicants but also applicants that do not meet all our prerequisites, therefore we are in the unpleasant position of having to reject them. In essence, what we are trying to sustain is the absolute equilibrium and harmony of provided services across our hotel-members, even those offered between our four star and five star hotel-members, something which proves to be quite challenging for us. Up to now, reservations show that the season which has just commenced will be a very good one.
What are your plans concerning the incorporation of hotel-members beyond the Greek boundaries?
P.P: Everything shows that the start will be made in Italy. The deal is almost sealed as far as the creation and commencement of operating our offices in Rome is concerned. We have already received five good applications from hotels in Italy and we have also completed a visit and inspection of a hotel in Venice. Additionally, we have received applications from other countries but our patience and strategic internal organization is of paramount importance before we proceed to any actions. At this point I would like to stress that we would not like to incorporate hotels in our chain which could possibly be considered as too close, hence, antagonistic to our current hotel-members in Greece.
Trésor Hotels & Resorts official website has a rich content which is refreshed daily. What is the significance of this content in your overall strategy?
P.P: We strongly believe that the content of our website must be continuously refreshed. It would not suffice for us to simply update our packages and highlight our new offers. We are certain that our blog constitutes a very interesting source of information for our clients, regardless of if they are wishing to proceed to a reservation or not and when exactly. Our blog is updated by our team of journalists on a daily basis and projects the known destinations but also the emerging ones alongside our hotel-members located in those destinations. In some cases and with the valuable support of the Greek Tourist Organisation (EOT) we act as a DMC in our effort to promote destinations which are neither established abroad nor in Greece.
Simultaneously, the content of the blog aids immensely with Search Engine Optimization, thus, giving us a very good rank within the results of Google search. We also favour online advertising and despite the fact that we have carried out only a few and small-scaled related actions, we have nonetheless attracted a very satisfying volume of reservations from European countries and even from Asiatic countries as well. As far as our summer destinations are concerned, 60-70 % of reservations originate from customers abroad.