Monday, 14 January 2013

The Russian tourist spends 20% more than any other does

Posted by  GRReporter

Victoria Mindova

Russians spend 20% more than any other tourists do as stated by the chairman of the Hellenic Hotel Union George Tsakiris in connection with the 2012 results of the tourism sector. Since the beginning of the economic crisis, there has been a significant decrease in the number of tourists from traditional markets such as Germany, United Kingdom and France. Therefore, Greece wants to increase its popularity among Russian tourists, who are among the most demanded customers in the hotel business.

"Despite the increase in the number of tourists from Russia, I cannot say that they saved us in 2012," admitted Tsakiris, stressing that this market has great potential and can be further developed. Last year, Greece attracted 30% more Russian tourists than in 2011. To further increase the tourist flow from Russia, Greek hoteliers with the support of the relevant ministry will organize a Greek-Russian forum in February this year at which the Mediterranean businessmen will be able to present the major advantages of local tourism. Restoring the flow of European tourists remains a major priority for Greece as well as attracting new tourists from the Russian market.

Meanwhile, the Hellenic Hotel Union has announced the adoption of the international star standard for the classification of hotels, HotelStar Unions, as part of the programme to improve competitiveness. The country has become the 14th member of the European system.
"This system of classification of the quality of hotel services is perceived by 80% of the tourists who come to the country," said the experts. 180 million European citizens use and look for this type of classification of hotel services. Its introduction on a pilot basis shows that the majority of Greek hotels meet the requirements for quality. This means that the transformation of the classification system will not require major expensive changes by local hoteliers.
HotelStar Unions was first introduced in the German-speaking countries in the 1990s. By 2012, Germany, Austria, Hungary, The Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Malta had become members thereof.

The system determining the number of stars of a hotel is based on 270 criteria. They are reviewed every five years in accordance with the market needs and developments. 80% of the Greek five-star hotels meet the requirements of the European system whereas the remaining hotel units that took part in the study do not meet seven of the total number of criteria on average. They are tougher to higher-class hotels and include a Superior group for the hotels that provide additional services with higher quality of service.
78% of the classification criteria are related to the furnishing of the hotel and the level of services offered. Among other factors that are being considered are the level of security and availability of hotel facilities for people with mobility difficulties. "The introduction of an international system for classifying the services we offer is essential for us. It provides certified quality, "insists Tsakiris.
The difference between the current classification for the hotels in Greece and the new one is that the European standard does not emphasize so much the type of the building and the town-planning. Instead it puts much greater emphasis on service quality.
At the same time, an institute that will monitor hotel services is being established.  Currently, there is only a website,, and its main purpose is to detect and notify the public institutions about the provision of illegal hotel services.
Experts believe that the sector should take advantage of every opportunity to gain a better position in the market. The country has lost a large share of its foreign visitors during the winter and the severe economic crisis in Greece has led to a significant drop in domestic tourism. "Our expectations for 2013 are much more positive than what we saw last year, but we are not expecting miracles," says Tsakiris.

No comments:

Post a Comment