Interview with Gabriela FLOREA Manager of Hotelcon Romania

Hotelcon implemented free of charge, in July 2020, the national integration system for hoteliers,, in partnership with OLYMPIA EUROPE. One of the goals of the system is to boost the incoming for Romania. What stage has the system reached now?

Currently, the system has grown more beautifully than we would have expected. We managed to capture the attention of hoteliers and agencies as well, on the reservation system. We have directly integrated up to the present time 475 hotels in Romania, a product from which HOTELCON partner travel agencies benefit directly, accessing the system, with availability and rates in real time.

So far, you have organized three online conferences with hoteliers and over 8 webinars with travel agencies to present the introduced locations. What are the conclusions of these meetings?

We had very good feedback from both partners: hoteliers and travel agencies. On the one hand, we managed to develop partnerships with channel managers such as PYN BOOKING, YIELD PLANET, SITEMINDER or D-EDGE, which allowed us to very quickly integrate the hotels already connected through them. During the conferences, the hoteliers were able to better understand the experience of integration with HOTELCON through the perspective of colleagues already integrated, something that helped enormously. On the other hand, all our effort must be realized in sales and this was possible thanks to the webinars on locations in Romania, where we gathered each time over 100 agents interested in the Romanian product and who were able to participate LIVE in the presentation of the locations introduced in the system HOTELCON. What was very well received? The fact that the presentation was made directly by the beautiful and professional people who represent these locations. We learned directly from them how to sell these locations and what their strengths are.

What can you tell us about the project “Romania is my country and it deserves to be promoted”, which you have been running since last year?

We are in full development. We already have 475 hotels in our portfolio and their number increases from one week to the next. We promote the locations through webinars with travel agencies twice a month and we also keep close to them to make their product known through newsletters and our Facebook page. Next, in April, is the ninth edition of the webinars on locations in Romania, and the hotels introduced in the last weeks are truly a tribute to TOURISM. We focus a lot on the people behind the locations, as the man sanctifies the place and we like to bring them forward as promoters of Romanian tourism.

What problems do Romanian hoteliers face today? What about travel agencies, in the relationship with hoteliers?

The problem of Romanian hoteliers is, from my point of view, the lack of technology and promotion. We are still facing reluctance towards technology, systems, and in the relationship with travel agencies, there are still, unfortunately, a multitude of locations that do not see the benefit of collaborating with them. This is where we intervene, as wholesalers, and we manage to negotiate competitive rates for travel agencies. Our sales being only B2B, we understand the importance of a good relationship between hoteliers and travel agencies, and together we will always be stronger. Working with HOTELCON, hoteliers will always have the security of reservations, payments made on time and a continuous flow of sales, and on the other hand, travel agencies can count on finding availability and rates in real time in the system and, more moreover, they will have tourists who will call on them consistently.

How do you think Romania’s tourism promotion should be done at present? What would be the importance of the online environment?

I strongly believe that Romania’s tourism promotion must be slightly reoriented towards the beautiful and professional people in this field. We need to focus more on digitization, be more oriented towards the experience and less towards the product, because Romania is beautiful if it is lived as an experience, and especially for incoming, this makes Romania memorable.

What changes in destinations have you noticed in the first 3 months of this year, compared to the previous year? What are the most sought-after destinations in Romania? But from abroad?

For Romania, in the first 3 months of this year, stays in the mountains went very well, especially Valea Prahova, in 3-4* locations, stays of 3-4 nights. Corporate tourism also started with Bucharest, Iasi, Cluj as the main destinations in these three months. Apart from Romania, the Maldives, Seychelles, Dubai remain the main destinations, followed by the Dominican Republic, Mexico and more recently, bookings have started for Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria.

How would you characterize the tourist year 2021? What expectations and fears do you have?

I personally see a very prolific 2021 in terms of travel. People want to travel after so many restrictions and most of them have already started booking their holidays, especially now that all bookings are refundable up to a few days before check-in, which allows tourists to be sure about their holiday . It is recommended to book in advance so that you can benefit from a good rate and availability at the same time. As for fears, I’m a very optimistic person by nature, I really couldn’t say that I have any fears this year in terms of tourism. I look forward to the restrictions being lifted one by one and we can be FREE to travel. People are eager for new experiences, for memories created with their loved ones, and we, together with partner travel agencies and hoteliers, want to actively participate in the fulfillment of wishes.

Hotelcon represents a well-known international system with tradition. The pandemic has caused an even greater move into the online environment, which Hotelcon has been exploring for a long time. What changes in the online environment, related to tourism, has the covid-19 pandemic brought?

For us, this whole period represented a discovery, an accommodation to something that initially seemed uncomfortable. It was a real adventure to start the webinars, to start the conferences, to start the hotel integration project “Romania is my country and it deserves to be promoted!”. Being used to human interaction, at first we were apprehensive about supplementing it with online interaction, but I admit that we tried to remain as jovial and optimistic, and we conveyed this to the participants of the webinars and conferences. Thus, everything became attractive both for them and for us, and we even began to love this way of creating relationships. We tried to be as present as possible in the professional life of our partners and how else than through newsletters, Facebook, webinars, conferences and a lot of discussions, nocturnal I could say, to determine what needs to be done. We realized that only together we can overcome this period, and we gathered around us people whom we presented as an example to follow whenever we had the opportunity, and all in the online environment. It was and is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but from which I learned a lot and had the opportunity to meet wonderful people whom I can’t wait to meet LIVE.

He recorded,


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