The work of the 4th International Hospitality Forum, organized on Monday, November 23, 2020 by the Hotel Chamber of Greece and in which Xenia was the Gold Sponsor, was completed with great success and the online presence of 1,100 participants .
The Forum was organized in collaboration with Phocuswright, a global leader in primary hospitality research, through the groundbreaking online Swapcard platform and was attended by participants from 25 countries. The Forum opened with a greeting from the Minister of Tourism, Mr. Theocharis, while the participants had the opportunity to watch an exclusive interview with Maud Bailly, CEO of Southern Europe at Accor.
See the greetings
Watch Maud Bailly interview
The global travel market and the road to recovery after the pandemic was the subject of a Phocuswright global survey by Peter O’Connor, Phocuswright’s Chief Market Analyst. According to the research: travel across Europe was reduced by almost 60% in 2020 compared to the data of 2019. The so-called “short trips” are mainly domestic and depend largely on Covid cases and the resulting restrictions in every travel market.
“With the announcement of the release of the vaccines, the recovery is expected to start quickly, with a growth forecast of almost 50% for 2021. Safety and protection remain the two main concerns, and so both destinations and hotel units need to communicate. often and coordinate their efforts to protect visitors. The same applies to cancellation and refund policies, as many consumers are reluctant to make a reservation unless it is very clear under what circumstances they will receive a refund in the event of an ongoing crisis.
After 2021, the future looks even more encouraging. Although it will take longer for the long-haul destinations to recover, European travelers seem ready to travel and Greece has all the guarantees as a key destination for 2022 and beyond. “A strong communication strategy regarding the security of both the destination and the hotels will remain very important, making it the minimum criterion for attracting visitors,” the Phocuswright research notes.
See the presentation of the research
The first thematic discussion entitled: “Operational Strategies in the Post-Covid-19 Era” moderated by Peter O ‘Connor, was attended by four distinguished speakers: Franck Arnold, Regional VP & Managing Director, The Savoy in London, Anna Athanasopoulou, Head Tourism, Textiles and Creative Industries of the European Commission, Margaux Constantin, Deputy Managing Director at McKinsey’s Dubai Office. and Dr. Willy Legrand, Professor of Hospitality Management at the International University of Applied Sciences IUBH in Bad Honnef, Germany. All four speakers agreed that tourism would gradually recover from 2021 after the vaccine was released, but made it clear that recovery in the post-Covid-19 era would not be measured by quantitative data, such as the number of arrivals and overnight stays. but with quality data and specifically with value creation. As they explained, there are three key points in which the tourism sector must invest in order to recover dynamically: a) strict adherence to health protocols, so that the traveler feels safe, b) the provision of digital content, services and overall experience by the reservation until the departure from a destination and c) the sustainable operation of the tourism sector with the “greening” of the environmental footprint.
See the presentation
In the second thematic discussion entitled “Sustainability. The Future of Travel, ”moderated by Johanna Wagner, Hospitality Consultant & Lecturer, Co-Founder of La Belle EduC, featured four keynote speakers: Anna Decramer, General Manager, Feelingo, Dr. Henri Kuokkanen, Associate Professor at the Paul Bocuse Institute, Benjamin Lephilibert, Founder & CEO, LightBlue Environmental Consulting and Rebecca Pierides, Director of Churchill Hotel Management, Crowne Plaza Limassol (Cyprus), Committee Member of the ELN Europe.
As emphasized in the post-COVID-19 era, the principles of sustainability apply to all aspects of hotel business. The speakers agreed that sustainability should now be seen as an opportunity, which should be turned into a comparative advantage of hotels and not as some kind of “obligation”. It was emphasized that the travel experience changes and visitors become part of the social and environmental awareness developed through actions for sustainability.
See the presentation