What is Zesti?
Zesti is the name we chose to give to our platform and be represented by in the market.
Ζέστη (zes-tee) means warmth in Greek, and we found it fitting because Greeks are familiar with it and it’s also the reason millions visit the country every year.
What is the Alonissos app?
The app will be called Alonissos.
A digital travel guide for smartphones that aims to help organise the stay of travellers, so they can spend their time enjoying rather than trying to find out information about the island
What kind of info will be included?
Everything one needs to come to Alonissos, everything they will need to know during their stay and even what to do when the time comes to leave.
How to travel to Alonissos, where and when they can buy ferry tickets from Skiathos, Skopelos, Volos etc.
During the time on the island, where to stay, rent a car, have dinner, where to go out, what beach to go to, fun activities etc.
The guide will be updated continuously.
Are there similar apps for other islands?
Apps for touristic destinations are not new. When the smartphone revolution started a couple of years ago, pioneers went and digitized the travel guides that where in book form into apps. And this is where the evolution stopped.
The Alonissos app though is a very different beast.
What makes the Alonissos app so different from the rest?
Our app has a very different base from the “digitized” travel guides of old, and that brings much greater capabilities.
Before Zesti, travel guide creators had to go from business to business, beach to beach, to collect the information needed and then round everything up in a static travel guide that takes days to be updated and published.
What we did was to create a dynamic new platform, that synchronises automatically in real-time through the cloud.
A more detailed description?
To be included in the old travel guides one needed to contact a representative, then forward the business’ details with all material to them, which was then handed over to the app developers to be included in the app. The app was then submitted to Apple/Google for review, and when that part was done the app was published and was available to download by the users. A slight change in the guide content and this process had to start all over again.
With the Alonissos app we have the ability to give total control to the business owner who can do any change to their space with just a smartphone. The changes will then sync automatically with the guide in seconds through the cloud. And this while users don’t even have to update their apps through the AppStore.
Some examples of this dynamic guide?
A pub can update their space with info about an event taking place soon. A restaurant can add the dish of the day. If the weather changes accessibility to a beach, we can update the info in the app. A hotel can add a limited time offer for a room. We are confident the business owners will find new and exciting ways to take advantage of this ability.
How does this whole thing work?
When someone wants to become a member, they can at any time to visit our website and register quickly and securely.
- You fill the form with your details and pay with a card.
- Choose the name the business will appear in the app.
- Upload a profile photo.
- Chose the category of the business, hotel, restaurant, bar, rental etc.
- Write a description for the space.
- Add contact information and anything else the owner wants, like links to Facebook, Instagram, TripAdvisor, Booking, Airbnb etc.
- Lastly, using the map, chose the exact coordinates of the business so that clients can easily navigate there using the GPS of their smartphone and Google Maps.
How much does it cost?
It is €150 per year and will activate the moment of payment. There will be a 50% discount offered for anyone who wants to add additional businesses. For example, if someone wants to add a restaurant and rental rooms, the cost will be €150 and €75 respectively etc. All businesses will be available for editing under the same account.
What happens when the subscription ends?
When the subscription runs out, the advertised space in the app will be deactivated automatically, but information like photos and text stay saved in our website so the ad space is easily activated again by logging in and re-subscribing. As soon as the payment is processed the space is visible in the app again.
What is the advertisement strategy for the Alonissos app?
We printed special stickers that will be put in the storefronts on the island, informing tourists that Alonissos has its own app and it is available for download. There will also be large banners that will be strategically placed in the port, informing newcomers about the app. We will continue our strong presence in Social Media and later this fall we will begin advertising away from the island to draw new visitors.
We will prepare advertising material for the Mayor’s office to take with them in all exhibits Alonissos is present. Our target is that possible visitors will download our app and experience the beauty of the island and get detailed info about accommodation, how to come, what beaches they can visit etc.
Are there any plans for improving the app?
There will be continuous updates in content and features. In the near future there will be a specific part in the app about events and activities that are happening on Alonissos. Dance festival, live music event, a play, a business opening etc.
Soon a user counter will be implemented in the app so that business owners can see exactly how many users have the app and the actual marketing reach.
We are also preparing a way for businesses to be able to contact directly the user base by sending a notification, that could be about anything that is in limited offer or happening that day. For example, day’s special on offer in a restaurant, a car for rent just for the day with a better price, an invitation to an event etc. The possibilities are endless, and businesses will have a new way of contacting possible customers.
Why now such an app?
There is a reason such an app is released this year. In 2016 a cloud-based app would simply not be possible because the users would have to be connected to WiFi. In 2017 though the European Union abolished roaming charges within all member states, meaning that all visitors coming from a EU country can use their cellular data as if they were home. In other words, they will be always online.