“Why not?”: Luxury Tor Hotel Group explain why they joined Impala
With everything from the white sandy beaches of Halkidiki, to the buzzing culture of Thessaloniki, northern Greece has long lured visitors. And you might be surprised to hear that this has never been truer than after the pandemic. With global chains opening the doors to new properties, significant infrastructure investment in the region, and the “Greekend” campaign attracting new guests, you might wonder if things can get any better?
So that’s why we were intrigued to talk to Tor Hotel Group, a small family-run collection of luxury hotels, which has recently joined Impala. A slowdown in trade would obviously call for a change of strategy, but with business booming, including their latest location, ON Residence in Thessaloniki performing ahead of expectations, we wondered what drew them to Impala.
We spoke to Group Director of Sales & Revenue Stefanos Iliadis and Group eCommerce & Revenue Manager Kostas Sakellaridis to find out more. They reveal that despite record revenue, there’s still a lot that Impala can do for them.
Reaching new markets for Thessaloniki
Stefanos explains that “we operate three properties in Thessaloniki. These properties used to welcome many guests from Israel and Turkey, as well as domestic travellers from Greece, so our target is to be alert to new markets and new opportunities.” Thessaloniki’s Makedonia airport has just had a significant upgrade, with its operator expecting traffic to jump 46% by 2026. And new properties are springing up to welcome the coming influx.
Kostas says he welcomes the competition: they’re staying a step ahead by ensuring they don’t miss any potential booking source, especially as new air corridors open. That’s because the pandemic, conflict in Ukraine and changing economic factors have also altered the typical guest profiles at Tor’s sites in Thessaloniki.
So in Thessaloniki, the group’s facing changes to its traditional source markets, increasing competition for guests, and a need to stand out as visitor numbers swell. The group expects that by partnering with Impala, they’ll be able to reach a broader audience of guests, with a wider range of room sellers to attract incremental bookings. And since the onboarding process was fast, free and easy, signing up with Impala was the obvious choice.
Taking more business online in Halkidiki
The picture is slightly different in Halkidiki. “We have two beach properties here,” Stefanos explains. “The profile is roughly 40% Brits, 20% DACH, 20% Danish and 20% from other markets. A lot of the business is done through tour operators, which we’d like to continue. But we’re trying to get these properties more connected and reduce the number of offline contracts and rate sheets.”
The best way to explain why we signed up is ‘why not?’.
Group eCommerce & Revenue Manager
For Tor’s beach locations, Stefanos and Kostas were attracted by the ease of getting on board with Impala. Kostas puts it simply: “The best way to explain why we signed up is ‘why not?’. It took minimal effort to onboard and the business model is simple.” Impala’s approach to Open Distribution means Tor is able to reach new room sellers in record time, with no hassle needed. All of it online, of course.
Looking to the future
Revenue may be at record levels, but that doesn’t mean Stefanos isn’t thinking about the future: “We live in turbulent times, but I’m optimistic about the rebound. People are looking forward to the experiences they missed in the last few years, and we want them to discover our properties. We welcome any new partnerships and connections that help guests find us.”
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Kostas adds that “demand is strong”, so it’s important for their properties to stand out. He hopes that features like the magnificent roof terrace and view at ON Residence can play a role in this. And Stefanos adds that the new property’s iconic restaurant, Olympos Naoussa, should attract foodie guests. The opening represents the return of an icon in the European restaurant scene, after it closed three decades ago. Tor is hoping Impala can put guests who’d like a taste on the menu.
Tor Hotel Group operates ON Residence, The Excelsior and City Hotel in Thessaloniki, and Eagles Palace and Eagles Villas in Halkidiki. Want to offer their rooms on your booking platform? Join Impala today. And if you run a property, you can find out more about joining them on Impala.