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Inverness hotelier’s hospitality tech firm secures Arctic contract with hotel in Greenland

By Rachel Smart

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Jon Erasmus (left).
Jon Erasmus (left).

An Inverness hotelier’s hospitality tech firm has secured its first-ever Arctic contract with a hotel in Greenland, which lies at the heart of the Inuit community.

In 2017, Jon Erasmus, who co-owns the Glen Mhor Hotel on Ness Bank, drew upon extensive industry experience to co-found Hop software.

The company developed a single-point property management system that handles all aspects of hospitality operations including online bookings and payments.

In the seven years since its inception, Hop has enjoyed considerable growth, beyond core Scottish and UK markets.

Hotel Narsaq, Greenland.
Hotel Narsaq, Greenland.

However, Mr Erasmus was intrigued several months ago to receive unexpected contact from a port town in Southern Greenland with views over the Arctic ice sheets - a far cry from the Highland capital!

Hotel Narsaq lies at 65 degrees north on the shore of Tunulliarfik Fjord, comprising 11 rooms, guesthouses, 6 family apartments and houses.

Co-owners Fridrik and Kattie Magnusson were looking for an online booking system for business clientele and international tourists who visit Greenland’s ninth biggest town.

Despite being initially intrigued by the communication, the Hop team worked with the couple to remotely integrate the new booking system, nearly 1500 miles away from Inverness.

After encountering obstacles in the shape of Nordic regulations, the system went ‘live’ ahead of the main summer tourist season in Narsaq, which is famous for fishing, sheep farming and its memorable ice formations.

“From the Highlands to Canada, Africa and now Greenland, this shows the international nature of the product,” smiled Mr Erasmus.

Homes in Narsaq
Homes in Narsaq

“Our product is very much born in Scotland but it shows we can compete in markets across the world. It also shows the potential and flexibility of the system,” he added.

Greenland is part of Denmark and is one of the least densely populated regions in the world comprising a population which is 89 per cent Greenlandic Inuit.

From its conception by Mr Erasmus and fellow Highland hotelier, Richard Drummond, who co-owns McKays Hotel Bar and Restaurant in Pitlochry, Hop has continued to expand steadily, although Hotel Narsaq is by far its most northerly client.

Over 70 Scottish hotels and hospitality providers are running Hop’s system, including a number in the highlands and islands.

Hop’s other founding director is Ronald Tweedie.

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