MITSIS HOTELS FEATURING IN BUSINESS AXIS MAGAZINE
The appeal of Greece as a holiday destination has gone hand in hand with tourism since the first passenger ships weighed anchor and the first commercial aircraft took wing. The deep history, formative to the entire of Western civilisation, is just one aspect of the unique allure of Greece – indeed, the unique geographic makeup of the nation, with its mainland in the north and thousands of islands crumbling into the Aegean and Mediterranean, can’t help but evoke notions of romantic sunsets and flavourful cuisine.
Speaking to Business Axis, the organisation’s Managing Director, Mr Stavros Mitsis, laid bare the organisation’s inspirations and strategies alike.
There are as many kinds of holidaymaker in Greece today as there are destinations intent on courting them. Mitsis Hotels enjoys a portfolio of some 17 properties, each of which represents a 4* or 5* resort in its own right. Furthermore, these 17 locations are intelligently spread among both the cities and cultural hubs of mainland Greece, as much as the idyllic isles and nightlife-rich escapes that most define the nation.
For example, the Greek capital of Athens is home to Mitsis Hotels’ Sofitel Athens Airport location. This property stands as a beacon to visitors touching down at the adjacent international airport, and at just shy of 40 minutes’ drive from the city centre, lets guests be in the thick of the thrumming city’s heart at their discretion, while also avoiding the breathless pace of the capital’s core overall when ready to rest.
Contrast this with Rhodes, the historic and culturally rich island on which Mitsis Hotels operates the stylish Rodos Village Beach Hotel & Spa, as one example – but also the more cosmopolitan likes of the Alila Resort & Spa and the aptly named Grand Hotel.
Business Axis was provided with both an overview and a deep-dive into this impressive spread of luxuriant premises. “We aspire to stand out as the preferred portfolio of hotels & resorts in Greece, offering excellent service, great locations, impeccable facilities, sophisticated dining and a broad spectrum of options for our clientele,” Mr Mitsis listed. “All of our 17 hotels are either four or five star destinations in their own right, but we further categorise them to match travellers’ demographics – so for instance, there is the Premium Collection, and nine of our sites are spa and thalassotherapy centres.”
Such commitment to pushing the envelope in indulgent guest experiences while also retaining the personal touch has afforded Mitsis Hotels as a business group much in the way of accolades and recognition. “Mitsis Hotels has been awarded several prizes by local and international tour operators and travel organisations, all in recognition of the high quality of the services provided, as well as our contribution to upgrading local tourism as an industry. Much has also been said of our respect for the environment,” Mr Mitsis noted.
Elaborating on this outlook, and the organisation’s response to it, Mr Mitsis shared his vision with us.
The issue of generation, specifically, is a pertinent one. Package holidays and the classic all-inclusive mindset remain as much a part of the travel sector today as they ever have, but the more worldly minded traveller, ever culturally curious and ready to lead life as the locals do, has proven fertile ground for Mitsis Hotels to go to.
Recognising this phenomenon has been a critical component in how Mitsis Hotels has continued to enjoy such thriving times, in the face of economic uncertainty at home over the decade just passed, as well as a redefined Europe overall as the 2020s begin in earnest. “International travellers now demonstrate far more individualistic needs, and no longer follow any truly discernible mass standards,” Mitsis Hotels’ Managing Director explained. “Travellers choose new destinations to which they have never gone before when choosing their vacations and look for new unique life experiences overall in doing so. The Millennial generation, especially, wants to explore the world and share their stories with their friends on social media. Culture is now one of the biggest driving factors for travel in the world.”
Mr Mitsis reinforced to us. “The modern visitor is indulging in local culture at a very personal level now when visiting a destination – he or she wants to do what the locals do and eat where the locals eat. Restaurants have always been considered as destinations, as one example, but today the culinary journeys are aimed at exploring the culture of a place through its cuisine.”
The culinary offerings across Mitsis Hotels’ portfolio do much to reinforce this notion, of course – but the business as a whole also recognises that remaining flexible to how holidaymakers’ book and secure their trips in the first place is of equal import. Streamlined and secure online booking systems, as well as key partnerships with tour providers and travel agents, ensure that Mitsis Hotels has kept admirable pace with these changing trends also. “Direct booking channels are rising, as are last-minute bookings,” Mr Mitsis said. “However, the need to get away from the ubiquity of technology, of ever-connected workplaces and the like, is a strong area of growth for our guests today also.
Ecological and educational tourism is on the rise. The increase in ecological consciousness has led travellers to choose relatively untouched destinations where they can enjoy the environment and local traditions. The search for that counterweight to modern lifestyles is at the heart of the global trend for fitness vacations, wellness and spiritual recreation through the quest for calm and remote destinations. Finally, conventional luxury amenities have given way to exclusive, physical and spiritual challenges and the creation of new luxury travel offers with unpredictability, extreme authenticity, enthusiasm and personalised experiences as their dominant elements.”
The outlook of the coming decade
Ours has been an age of challenges and opportunities in tandem – an era in which technology of convenience has come hand in hand with concerns over privacy and regulation, for instance, or wherein promises of tolerance and open-mindedness have been met with a digging in of the heels of the old guard, intent on entrenching divisions and prejudices.
The good news is, of course, that the reputation of the organisation and its portfolio of hotels and resorts is extremely well established. Occupancy rates throughout the season remain above 90 per cent at every premises under Mitsis Hotels’ control – and in peak season can often escalate to a healthy community feeling of 97% occupancy. Of course, keeping so many guests and customers satisfied and inspired is no small feat, not least given the – quite correct – insistence on the personal touch employed by Mitsis Hotels for every visitor. Smiling staff and an open communication policy are at the heart of this, as Mr Mitsis revealed. “We stand by our guests throughout their customer journey. From booking, arrival and check-in to check out and the return to their home countries, we communicate with our guests through our guest relations and hotel staff, digital signage screens, tailored newsletter forms and evaluation surveys, ensuring customer satisfaction.”
A marriage of tradition and modern innovation as befitting of Mitsis Hotels as it is of modern Greece, then – and, quite understandably, a huge source of confidence and inspiration to the business as it progresses. “Let us look for new growth prospects, let us design new brands, let us create new products and services for this new era that is already upon us,” Mr Mitsis outlined in summary.