“Face of the Week” is GTP’s weekly column that introduces the young professionals of the Greek tourism industry. Every week, a young Greek professional will refer to issues related to their profession, the travel & tourism sector and Greece as a destination.
“In Greece, the spirit of hospitality is genuine, we were and always will be a hospitable country with amazing people, offering their best for a simple efcharisto!”
Business: HOTELIGENT Hotel Management & Consulting Company
Leontios N. Orphanos is a hospitality professional with over 16 years of corporate hospitality, operational and management experience.
After graduating the American College of Greece, he studied Hospitality & Tourism Management in Center International De Glion, received his Certificate in Hotel Management & Tourism studies from Manchester College of Arts and Technology and now holds a Masters in Management Essentials of Hospitality Management from Cornell University in New York.
Leontios is a hands-on manager with expertise in increasing profitability, revenue management, developing and implementing marketing and promotional strategies, hotel management, Food & Beverage operation, decision-making, troubleshooting, and innovative problem solving in a timely manner all resulting to providing superior quality customer service.
Self-made entrepreneur, he owns HOTELIGENT (a hotel management company), a small boutique hotel on Rhodes.
- What are the things you like best about your job and how would you describe your hospitality/tourism management philosophy?
Philoxenia (hospitality) and Tourism are 2 words inevitably connected with the philosophy of every Greek person, such as myself. In Greece, the spirit of hospitality is genuine, we were and always will be a hospitable country with amazing people, offering their best for a simple “efcharisto!”; even nowadays and after all the difficulties the Greeks are facing.
I enjoy going the extra mile to experience happiness in the faces of my guests. That’s my pleasure!
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit”, Socrates said and I agree.
- Have you had to face any challenges in your career to get to where you are today?
The job of the leader is not to be liked, but to produce work that is loved. That was and always will be my biggest challenge.
- In regards to hospitality and tourism, where do you think Greece needs to improve the most?
The secret of change is to focus all of our energy, not on fighting the old but on building the new.
After the Baby Boomers and the Millenials, we live in a new era, the era of the New Geners. We should seize the digital momentum and these micromoments! Mobility, personalization and character in our services is what we need. Furthermore we should establish a fixed investing policy and a stable financial status so we can welcome investments. Funds are interested in our small but full-of-treasures country, but are stuck in bureaucracy! Let’s take actions!
- Which region of Greece are you from and which is its best kept “secret”? (In other words, what shouldn’t be a secret in your opinion and should be promoted more abroad?)
My region’s best kept secret is the unexplored Rhodian country side. In Rhodes you will find beautiful lakes on the top of the mountains, swim at the Mala waterfalls in Gennadi Village, hike at Mt. Attaviros, stroll between the Ancient ruins in Lindos Village, taste some extraordinary wine in Embona Village and explore magnificent untouched landscapes in just a few minutes’ drive all year round.
I am fully aware of the consequences by promoting those unexploited places; but I am pretty certain that if it’s done correctly and methodically, it will definitely have a positive impact on the agriculture tourism, real estate and the local economy.
- If you could pass on a message to the hospitality/tourism industry about Greece, what would it be?
Tourism is a very important industry with many opportunities for success. Excellence though is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention sincere effort and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.
Choices not chance, determine our destiny.
- What are your plans for the future?
To keep working in the hospitality industry and expand my hotel management company. Continue developing proven leadership ability with dedication, integrity, and the ability to inspire team members with the vision necessary for achieving short and long terms goals.
- If you didn’t work in the tourism industry where would you be?
Pleasure in the job puts perfection in any work you choose. Travelling was always on my bucket list. My dream job was to become a pilot, see the world, learn the people and its cultures, explore different civilizations and customs and gather unforgettable life changing experiences.
Connect with Leontios N. Orphanos on LinkedIn