Greece as a destination has so much to offer, but sometimes when you have so much, it is hard to focus. Here is a recap of what was discussed during my time at the SETE conference a few weeks ago and seemed to resonate with the audience.

1) Understand Your Niche – The world is more accessible than ever, meaning that destinations need to be focused on what their true strengths are and marketing to those audiences. Online advertising technology allows for organization to micro target demographics like never before, but this only works if you understand what that target market should be. A combination of long-term mass-market brand building campaigns, combined with targeted smaller campaign at specific niches is the most effective way of designations get the most activity from $ spent on advertising.

2) Technology and Data to enhance the customer experience – If hotels can harness the power of tech in their establishments, then this can allow them to have more time to enhance the experience of the customer. A fully integrated technology stack allows for streamlined process, a smoother customer journey (before, during and post stay) meaning team members can be repurposed from sitting behind computers doing admin, to making sure that customers are having that once in a lifetime experience that they can share with the world. Happy Customer, Happy Bottom Line.

3) Little Touches … Make a massive difference. I have been fortunate enough to stay in many hotels, and only a few have really used technology in a way that allows for truly amazing human experiences. The training of staff to harness technology is often missed, alongside the fact that staff or often not allowed to use their personality. Especially in the luxury and resort space, finding those little touches where you can personalize an experience by harnessing that data we have on customers, is massively powerful.

4) People, People, People – Despite all the technology out there, hospitality is still delivered by people. Investing in a hotels team is often forgotten. Training, engagement with education, providing opportunities and inspiring people into the industry is essential when it comes to creating the long-term strategy of any hospitality business. Often people think about sustainability being just about environment but having enough amazing people in your team to deliver your experience, makes the business “financially sustainable”.

5) Diversify – The Thomas Cook collapse shows the importance of making sure your business has a diversified market mix. Having all your eggs in one basket is dangerous. Having the right technology in place allows you to analyze this on a regular basis and allows for strategies to be implements to make sure that the market mix you are aiming for delivers your long-term business goals.

6) Distinctiveness over Differentiation – Long gone are the days where having 5* over 4* means you get higher occupancy or rate. What makes you distinctive? How do YOU stand out from the crowd and really what makes you truly unique?

7) Be A Pirate – The golden age of the pirates in the late 1600s saw a bunch of rebels fight against the rules of the sea. The famous entrepreneurs of today, are Pirates in their own right, breaking rules set to create amazing new products, and services. I urge you, as the hospitality and tourism leaders in Greece, to be more Pirate, break the rules and try new things, to make sure Greece stays ahead of the curve when it comes to being a Tourism Destination.