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Pestana Hotel Group focus on digital to recover from COVID.

The relevance of digital for the tourism sector is unquestionable and, according to João Leite, Director of Innovation and Business Intelligence at the Pestana Hotel Group, there is a pre- and a post-pandemic. That is, according to the head of the largest hotel group, there is a “zero day” that had repercussions on the entire universe of tourism. The strength and importance of digital was, moreover, revealed that 70% of the hotel group’s sales already come from digital channels. To do so, however, it is necessary to work on several axes, in order to “meet the needs and demands of our customers and consumers”. Digital marketing, social networks, group pages, target advertisement, booking platforms are some of the axes presented by the Pestana Hotel Group manager. “Personalizing our offer for an increasingly demanding and knowledgeable customer is fundamental”, admitted João Leite, noting that in addition to this personalization, monitoring of everything that happens on digital is also essential. Starting from the premise that it is not the customer who is increasingly digital, but that it is the digital that is giving the answers with the speed that the customer and consumer wants, human contact must not be neglected, although “are emerging constant changes in the ‘customer journey’”. “People are looking more at the last minute, they check in online and not at reception, they want and know what services the hotel offers even before entering the hotel, they find out what they can do in the destination they are going to visit”, highlights João Milk. And in addition, says the head of the hotel group, “they use the comments they value to make a decision”. In other words, “every customer knows our products and services more and better” and, therefore, “it is necessary to adapt them”. This does not mean, however, that, in the case of platforms, “everything is indicated”, admitting João Leite that “engagement with the customer to create this loyalty is fundamental”. Hence, the person responsible for Innovation and Business Intelligence at the Pestana Hotel Group considers that “it is essential to manage the ‘management response’ well”, as it can be “decisive for future reservations”. Fundamentally, says João Leite, it is realizing that “the customer, today, wants to know how the hotel worked today and in the future and not how it worked in the past”, not least because, “issues in terms of safety and health have acquired a very great importance”. Also of growing relevance are the various payment systems and their integration, in order to facilitate such a “customer journey”, with João Leite highlighting the most recent integration made available in the CR7 Gran Via, the new unit inaugurated in the Spanish capital, where the customer can check-in and check-out.