“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.
“I want to shape the future of travel! Both as a traveler and professional, I want to make travel easier, better and more fulfilling.”
If you ask Christina’s childhood friends and family about her favorite game as a child, they will all say “hotels”. Either as the owner or a guest, Christina mastered the art of hospitality years before she realized this would be her amazing career path.
Professionally, she has been in the travel industry since 2001 and since then has worked in Greece and abroad for leading local and international companies such as HotelBrain, Hilton, Expedia and now Welcome, a start up travel company that provides, via transfers, travel essentials and mobile technology, the most personalized and complete travel experience from the moment traveler arrives to a new destination till the moment he is back home.
Along with the working experience came the studies. Christina holds a bachelor in International Relations, a Master in Hospitality Management and an MBA and specializes in e-commerce, revenue management, strategic partnerships and new markets penetration.
- What are the things you like best about your job and how would you describe your hospitality and tourism management philosophy?
I want to shape the future of travel! Both as a traveler and professional, I want to make travel easier, better and more fulfilling. What I like most about my job is the evolutionary technology in the travel industry, the great people I meet and the knowledge and experiences we exchange. I gain and offer so much on a daily basis. This is priceless.
- Have you had to face any challenges in your career to get to where you are today?
Of course and I still do! You know how they say that we don’t grow when things are easy but we grow when we face challenges? Well, this is true. In my early years, it was luck of knowledge and experience. More recently, working in technology travel companies, I’m trying not only to keep up, but to stay ahead of everything.
- In regards to hospitality, where do you think Greece needs to improve the most?
Greece is a dream destination for people of all ages from all around the world. We have the sun, the sea, the mountains, the green, the history, the ideal climate, great day and night life, excellent cuisine and during the last few years, professionals to bring out the best of what the country has to offer. I believe we need to improve in branding continuity. Hospitality is a business and Greece needs a short and long term strategy to thrive. No big firm changes to its logo, brand image, campaigns, target group, promotional strategy every year. This is not how to establish your business, nor how to grow it.
- 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?)
Greece has great history and culture and Greeks are proud descendants of a great civilization. However, Greece today is so much more than the heritage we curry over from generation to generation. We know our country better than anyone and yet we do not promote the things we love about it today to turn Greece to a wine, shopping, weekend, food getaway — and so much more — year round destination.
- If you could pass on a message to the hospitality industry about Greece, what would it be?
I would present over and over and over “philoxenia” and how it applies in Greece. Internally as a reminder of who we are and our defining attribute and externally to show what we are best at.
- What are your plans for the future?
Short and long term, be happy with what I do both in my personal and professional life and continue to share the same passion for life. I recently took a startup challenge and as the Partnerships Manager at Welcome my priority now is to grow myself and my work through my new exciting and demanding role.
- If you didn’t work in the hospitality industry where would you be?
I honestly cannot tell. I know that I live to travel and, enjoy meeting people, engaging in diverse conversations and exchanging ideas. Hospitality is one of the industries where I can do all that I love and never feel that I had enough.
Connect with Christina Argyrou on LinkedIn