Tourism is considered the “heavy industry” of Greece. Every year thousands of people visit the country for their holidays, while domestic tourism -whether for vacations or on work trips- contributes all year round to the viability of the country’s hotels.
A hotel’s base product is not limited to overnight accommodation, but also includes the overall experience it offers. The main competitive features of this product include both the geographical location of the hotel, its architecture, the condition it is in, the image it presents and its amenities. All of these play a special role in attracting customers and can act as promotional or defamatory ones.
It’s easy then to understand the importance of maintenance of the hotel unit, as the image of abandonment, the broken tiles in the bathroom or the pool, the discolored marbles at the entrance and the reception areas, the outbreaks in the courtyard and the interiors, create a negative experience. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. With the rapid adoption of the internet, they now have the power to deprive us of our clientele through “word of mouth” alone. Don’t you believe us?
The regular maintenance of the hotel not only prevents the accumulation of problems, it also helps avoid accidents, thus offering increased safety and hygiene to customers and employees, and gives an image of credibility to the outside world, which helps the profitability of the business. At the same time, it increases the life-time of the investment, and by reducing the incidence of damage also means reducing your long-term expenses.
Maintenance is not something that simply happens. In order for it to be properly organized all of the staff must be involved. By maintenance we mean both the prevention as well as the inspection for problems, along with any repairs that need to happen as soon as a failure occurs. There are four steps in the maintenance process. The sooner we tackle a problem the less its consequences will be. Let’s look at them in detail:
refers to day-to-day cleaning operations and continuous checks to prevent damage and uncover failures so we can deal with them as quickly and properly as possible. While cleaning, we must ensure that we do not cause unwanted wear by ignorance (e.g. use of chemicals that damage the marble, insufficient dust/sand removal under the floor mats, etc.). During the inspection, special emphasis should be placed on cracks in tiles, washbasins, showers and glasses, checking if any tiles are removed from their place, checking for stains on marbles (especially in the kitchen areas) since the sooner they are identified the easier they are to clean without leaving a permanent mark.
refers to scheduled maintenance associated with specific events (e.g. start/end of season) or the rate of wear of specific materials (e.g. if we know that the light bulbs used in the hotel rooms are dying after 200 days of use, it’s a good idea to schedule a replacement every six months, making sure no customer will come across this problem).
is maintenance that is being performed in order to prevent a failure that we know that is about to happen (e.g. if we see a crack in a washbasin, we should not wait for it to break risking a client’s physical integrity, but replace it beforehand).
this is maintenance that takes place after some kind of damage occurs. In order to remedy a failure, our business may come to an abrupt halt (depending on its severity), while the urgent nature of the repair usually means increased costs.
The inadequate maintenance and insufficient renovation of the hotel unit seems to be economically advantageous in the short term and is tempting for some business owners. In reality the cumulative problems will make maintenance work a real burden when you reach the point where you can’t avoid it anymore. At the same time, non-maintenance damages the key feature of your product (i.e. the image of your hotel) and reduces your business’ profitability in the long run. This is something more and more business owners are beginning to understand and there is a mentality shift in the right direction.
(p.s.: all reviews and photos are real…)