Vicky Santikos is the Vice President of Santikos Collection Group and joins the line-up of industry leading speakers at MR&H 2019. Her experience as an entrepreneur in the tourism industry for over 30 years has brought insight and knowledge to the Santikos Group who operate five properties across Greece; the Marpunta Resort on the island of Alonnisos, the Santikos Mansion in Pelion and the Aegean Suites & Princess, both located on Skiathos. The Alex is the latest edition to the family and the first urban hotel for the collection.
1. Can you give us an overview of your business?
Santikos Collection is a family run hospitality business model with five properties in Greece, around 250 seasonal employees and over 25 executives and senior managers working year-round. Our managerial ethos is based on four values:
- Security both economically and emotionally
- Equity which refers to justice in rewarding performance and
- Advancement opportunities
Santikos Collection has been a strong performer in the region over the last decade, mainly due to investment in personnel and fixed costs as well as strategic acquisitions targeting growth across our business.
2. What innovations and trends have significantly changed the marketing of resorts over the last decade?
Without any doubt, the evolution in technology has broken new grounds. From operations to guest experience to marketing, intelligent hotel technology offers a variety of revenue opportunities enabling hotels to reach new levels of profitability. Online booking engines, technology in the workspace of a hotel, CRS systems, social media and online guest satisfaction rating have changed the business for good.
Over the last decade, the leading edge in the modern business is smart marketing. Biometric and artificial intelligence, big data and online reputation management focus marketing actions directly to the end traveller. Hotels and Resorts can now succeed in delivering on guest satisfaction. By leveraging data insights ethically and responsibly, they can proactively continue to prosper against an increased and diversified competition.
Ecological concerns, energy footprint and other environmental issues are reshaping the industry and its core business. Marketing the Contemporary Resort is not only about creating brand awareness but embracing the traveller’s concerns and ethical values which result in new revenue opportunities.
Also, last but not least, trends that are unanimously preferred by the modern traveller, like experiencing the real local atmosphere, have enriched marketing and advertising tools. By organizing experiential press / bloggers visits on-site the relationship with the end customer has strengthened. Honest reviews, real photo shoots and storytelling are created by the press and bloggers are having an enormous impact on the market.
3. Looking ahead to your session at MR&H 2019, how significant is the demand from travellers for an experience today? And how, as an operator, do you deliver that demand?
Offering authentic, local and unique experiences is a major goal in contemporary hospitality. These undoubtedly drive demand and increase ROI. Santikos Collection is proud to be renowned in the industry as a Quality hospitality operator with a long term thinking. We follow the Santikos SILC rules - SILC - Special, Instagram-able, Local and Comfortable.
Our organisation owns and manages:
Each one of the Santikos Collection Resorts and Hotels has a unique character. We choose to invest in the best location, we collaborate with distinguished architectural offices, forming ingenious hotel concepts, integrated the surroundings and ensure we are environmentally sustainable. We organize and deliver targeted services to meet our guests needs. We invest in innovation and adopt the trends.
Constantly looking to meet the style of contemporary living, we renovate our hotels on a regular basis keeping them fresh, vivid and healthy. A hotel is like the human body, when you keep them in good shape, they radiate wealth and health, attracting a new generation of travellers.
Authenticity and locality play a significant role in identifying hospitality properties. Identity for our group is a major element to stand out from the pile and be recognized. Santikos Collection identity is influenced and shaped by the Greek culture of hospitality, local cuisine, local traditions and experiences that enhance the guests’ satisfaction, create unique memories and as a result encourage demand and increase revenues.
We follow the old tradition of “home away from home”, a notable and not at all an outdated hospitality value. Our guests find comfort in their rooms, useful amenities, quality in materials, high standards in service and in our outlets. An easy, swift, modern, reliable and friendly relation with the hotel’s operation enhances guest’s convenience from the booking day to the end of the stay.
4. You have recently opened your fifth hotel, and the first in an urban location. As the group continues to expand, how do you do so sustainably?
Santikos Collection is an active and healthy hospitality organisation looking towards a robust future. Our valuable team, directors and managers are our strength and power.
Our management approach follows specific requirements and schemes which are passed in all its members, allowing a sustainable and easy transition from one project to the next.
The second generation of owners work alongside the managerial team to reach new goals, putting together higher prospects in guest satisfaction and company’s profitability and growth. They are ready and keen to develop new business opportunities making sure the markers are in place and the specific requirements are met before making a commitment.
The Santikos Collection advisory board, composed by experts in the hospitality business and key-market stakeholders, contribute their knowledge and expertise in the management team establishing a vigorous, agile and strong hospitality company.
5. What is the importance and relevance of attending events like MR&H?
Communicating the realities and the future of hospitality, exchanging ideas and business opportunities with peers and recognized market stakeholders during MR&H, gives a huge contribution in the hospitality industry, as well as in our brand’s welfare and sustainable growth.
Vicky will be speaking on “The Economics of Experiential Travel: Making Lifestyle Innovation Profitable - Resort concepts are evolving, catering for a growing audience across a range of demographics. This key session will provide a guide to what you need to do to meet the needs of the new breed of traveller and potential resort guest” which takes place on Thursday October 31st from 11:50am - 12:05pm.
The current Advance Delegate Rate is only available until the 13th Sept. To secure your place at MR&H at this rate register today.
Don’t forget to check out the MR&H Playlist on Spotify.