Tuesday, May 25, 2010

How could Cyprus Hotels could take advantage of OTAs ( Online Travel Agents)

Viewing today the video on VTV Channel with the interview of Dr. Chris Anderson from Cornell University , I have realised that many of the indications he mentions could be applied to Cyprus as well.

Of course we need to have in mind that the so called dot com brands in Cyprus do not really exist. Cyprus tourism industry is formed mainly by independent hotels that do not belong to international chains. Now this happens it will be our subject for an other post on this blog.

Coming back to Dr. Anderson’s recommendations. Cyprus tourism has been traditionally depending on Travel Agents and Tour Operators. The online revolution is still making its way to Cyprus mainly because of the denial of the Cypriot tourism professional to change his/her marketing habits. In this path of unchanged change the recommendations of Dr. Anderson could fit and be more understandable for the average Cypriot hotelier.

The problem here is that the local travel agent, incoming agent is still wondering what to do online, he is still using old booking engines with no flexibility and without any benefit to the end user. We will not talk about the complete absence of any type of Social Media strategy. So first of all the local incoming agents need to understand how web and especially web 2.0 works and how an offline Travel Agent can become a successful online agent. Here is essential the participation of all the actors like Tour guides, theme park owners, excursion makers and yes the strong support from the local tourist authorities who can bring in tangible travel content.

Anyway pay attention to the video and make your own conclusions and if you are a Cypriot travel agent or a Cypriot hotelier I am sure you will find things here that are applicable to your daily work. In Cyprus we have at this moment a huge gap that is filled by the big players from the UK. So think and act.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Travel Freely !!! Greek and Cyprus tourism at your reach.

Whatever TV station you have on, whatever radio station you listen, whatever digital or paper newspaper you read, the news are the same. “Greece is in deep financial problems and this is due to the Greeks, the Greek way of thinking, the Greeks lied to the EU and so on and so forth”.

I am sorry Ladies and Gentlemen, but not all the Greeks are the same. Once, with a friend from Turkey at the World Travel Market in London some years ago, we were talking about how similar are Greeks and Turks. Similar when it comes to culture, food, family links etc. Ahmed though, mentioned an important difference that stayed in my memory. “The difference between Greeks and Turks is that we, Turks are have 2,000 very intelligent people who govern our country but you Greeks have 2000 idiots who govern your country despite that the percentage of university graduates is much higher in Greece than in Turkey and this should be a sign of a more educated and cultivated civic society, but still you elect incapable people to run your country” .

Well my friend Ahmed you were very right, those 2000 idiots are now the ones mainly responsible for the bankruptcy of Greece. For those idiots we cannot blame the rest of the people in Greece. Greeks now understood that the only way to save their country and consequently save the Euro and the Euro-zone is by being more productive. Despite that I am not a Greek citizen, but a Cypriot, I must admit that this comment of my good friend Ahmed made me see the Cypriot political reality from a more pragmatic point of view and since I decided not to vote anyone in any elections.
Greece and Cyprus are two connected economies and even more connected societies, and what happens today in Greece may never happen in Cyprus but it is shaking our economy here as well, and the shake is high on the Richter scale.

Greece and Cyprus have an extraordinary natural resource; Tourism. Greece and Cyprus are maybe not unique when it comes to mass tourism and travel, but defiantly both countries have many things to enjoy, discover and feel. Greek and Cypriot people are very hospitable and the Tourism Professionals in both countries have a great experience in taking care of their customers. The financial tsunami that is today swiping the Greek Economy but mostly the Greek society should stop immediately in order not to swipe the Cypriot economy and society and probably put in great danger the social and financial stability of many Europeans outside the borders of Greece and Cyprus.

In my opinion, the only feasible and “non-violent” way to stop this tsunami is if the Greek and Cypriot people have genuine and honest support from the rest of Europeans, especially from the inhabitants of countries with great recovery capacity such as Germany, UK, Holland etc.
Therefore I would kindly ask you all who read this article to consider Greece and Cyprus as your next vacation destination. I would even suggest you to combine the two places. Live your Myth in Greece and Feel Cyprus this Summer, like this you are contributing to the European Economy and European Social Stability.

Last but not least, I promise to all my fellow European citizens that I will do my best to keep the idiots out of power. By the way I would like to clarify that the word idiot is used in this article in the context the Athenians used to use it during the golden era of Athenian Democracy (http://budurl.com/GreekIdiots)