“New Faces” is a column by GTP that introduces the young professionals of the Greek tourism industry. In each column, the young Greek professionals refer to issues related to their profession, the travel & tourism sector and Greece as a destination.
“Treat your guests as you’d wish to be treated. Understanding customer needs, cooperating and giving your best smile is all that you need.”
Tina Toribaba was born and raised in Volos. She studied Journalism and Mass Media at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and holds a postgraduate degree (MA) in Communications and Cultural Studies from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She holds a proficiency and teaching license in three foreign languages: English, French and Italian.
Since 2006 she has been working in the Marketing Department of the Hilton Athens. She currently holds the position of Communications Manager and is responsible for the Press Office, Public Relations and Marketing of the hotel while acting as editorial consultant for the Hilton Athens Magazine.
- What are the things you like best about your job and how would you describe your hospitality and tourism management philosophy?
I love the variety in my job and the chance to get involved with pretty much everything across the hotel, from Accommodation and F&B to Wellness and Corporate Social Responsibility. The creative, strategic and tactical work you might do is never the same on any given day and consists of many activities such as copywriting, creating campaigns, representing the hotel in important events, creating and fostering relationships etc. As for my philosophy: “Treat your guests as you’d wish to be treated. Understanding customer needs, cooperating and giving your best smile is all that you need”.
- Have you had to face any challenges in your career to get to where you are today?
Lots of deadlines and full time schedules, as well as people of various ages and mentalities who I had to manage at the same time are only a few of the challenges that I have had to face. It has been a demanding and multi-tasking job from the beginning. However, the guidance of my managers and my strong will contributed in reaching the point of taking important decisions and acting effectively.
- In regards to hospitality, where do you think Greece needs to improve the most?
Destination marketing must follow a steady plan and be managed by one authority aiming at a 12-month tourism season. Especially for Athens, apart from the Marathon, what would significantly help is to organize some more truly big PR events of European or worldwide interest, such as a formula one race, a film festival, a sailing event etc. and with this attract international exposure.
- Which is your region’s best kept “secret”? (In other words, what shouldn’t be a secret in your opinion and should be promoted more abroad?)
Apart from being an interesting city-break destination all-year round, Athens is also ideal for summer vacations thanks to the Athenian Riviera where you can find amazing beaches, traditional and gourmet open-air restaurants, beach bars, outdoor night clubs etc. Moreover, Athens is so close to the islands that you can easily enrich your experience with a day-trip to Aegina or Hydra.
- If you could pass on a message to the hospitality industry about Greece, what would it be?
All of us working in the tourism industry are somehow representing our country, acting like “ambassadors” who should follow the values of hospitality, consistency and ownership in every little aspect of our daily interaction with guests. Such an attitude will reflect the overall level of service and education in our country and will leave guests with the best impressions leading to word-of mouth advertising. It all starts from our personal passion and efforts.
- What are your plans for the future?
New projects ahead include the launch of a new treatment and product menu at the Hiltonia Spa and a new Greek buffet at the Byzantino restaurant focusing on traditional recipes and authentic ingredients.
- If you didn’t work in the hospitality industry where would you be?
I would probably be an interpreter since I love studying foreign languages and the cultures they come from. It is very challenging to ensure smooth transfer of information and I really enjoy that this is part of my current job as well.
Connect with Tina Toribaba on LinkedIn