Utilizing modern technology for tourism development

Tourism; Trends, Prospects and Implications for Enterprises and Destinations

Aqua Vista Hotels made a dynamic appearance at the International conference ‘Tourism; Trends, Prospects and Implications for Enterprises and Destinations’, which took place from 19 – 21 October 2017 in Santorini with the scientific cooperation of the University of the Aegean, the Harokopio University, the Hellenic Open University and the Ball State University Management Department USA with the support of SETE (Greek Tourism Confederation) and the Municipality of Thera. The Group was represented by Mr Alexandros Dardoufas, Assistant Director of Sales for Aqua Vista Hotels and PhD Candidate at the University of the Aegean, who was one of the key speakers on the first day of the conference.

During his presentation Mr Dardoufas expanded on the results of a qualitative and quantitative study which he had carried out in the form of open questions and questionnaires to hotel owners, sales managers, general managers, marketing directors and e-commerce managers concerning the extent to which their units were dependent on third parties and how much that had changed over time. More specifically, an analysis was made of how the interest of hotel decision makers had shifted from Tour Operators to Online Travel Agents such as Booking and Expedia. At the same time, he explored future trends and the continuing need for the incorporation of new, innovative methods and tools in the area of bookings, such as Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Chatbots, etc.

According to the results of the research, despite the heads and staff members of hotels being aware of the importance of the digital advancement of unit reservation tools that will lead them to achieve significant independence from third party assistance, they continue to opt for the ease of dependency on the latter.

The event was the 5th International Conference of Tourism organised by the Graduate Program in ‘Tourism Planning, Management and Policy’ and the Laboratory for Tourism Research and Studies of the University of the Aegean in collaboration with 13th IMIC Conference, a series of forums concerning the topic of tourism which are carried out by  ‘Heliotopos Conferences.’

Regarding the conference Mr Alexandros Dardoufas commented: “Tourism is an industry which is evolving daily and there are many scientific innovations which can be applied in the hotel sector that make up an important part of it, especially in the area of bookings. At Aqua Vista Hotels we are constantly seeking ways and means in which to upgrade the services of units. The introduction of new technology with the aim of strengthening hotels as businesses is one of our main objectives.”