“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.
“Adventure travel is booming on an international scale and Greece should not remain out of it. Our country’s unparallel natural and cultural beauty and its rich biodiversity need to be promoted constantly and effectively. ”
Danae Tsadila is the founder of Trails Beyond, an incoming boutique tour operator offering authentic adventure explorations in Greece. Driven by her passion for travel and her vision to share Greece’s hidden treasures with other travelers, Danae decided to follow her dream and devote herself to the development of a responsible Greek tourism product.
Her educational background begins with a Bachelor in Business Administration Management (Athens University of Economics and Business), followed by a Master’s degree in Tourism Destination Management (NHTV University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands). Having gained valuable knowledge in the luxury tourism industry, working for more than 6 years as an Air Charter Coordinator in the business aviation sector, in 2013 she decided to start up an adventure travel company, with the vision to promote Greece as a year-round destination, ideal for responsible adventure tourism.
Being a passionate traveler herself, with special interests in meaningful cultural exchanges, international issues in sustainable tourism development, sports and adventure, Danae invites you to explore and experience Greece beyond the beaten path…
- What are the things you like best about your job and how would you describe your travel and tourism management philosophy?
Meeting new people from different countries and cultures, interacting, exchanging ideas and experiences has always been fascinating me and this is one of the things a like the most about working in the travel industry. Regarding my tourism management philosophy, there is a strong focus in sustainability. My vision is to highlight less known, yet equally beautiful, destinations in Greece, assist the local communities to benefit from tourism and at the same time raise awareness about environmental protection.
- Have you had to face any challenges in your career to get to where you are today?
Leaving a secure job in the business aviation sector to become an entrepreneur, especially in the turbulence times we live, was a quite challenging first step. Besides having to face the crisis and adapt yourself in new terms and circumstances, another great challenge was (and still is) to promote Greece as an ideal adventure travel destination and convince travelers and foreign operators that our country offers much more than sea & sun holidays. Be trusted by both the clients’ and the suppliers’ side requires continuous effort, know-how and quality services, which is also what we strive for.
- In regards to adventure tourism, where do you think Greece needs to improve the most?
Although the past few years, both the public and the private sectors are trying to rebrand Greece and promote it as a destination ideal for cultural, gastronomy and other forms of tourism, I think there should be a stronger promotion of the country in regards to adventure tourism. Adventure travel is booming on an international scale and Greece should not remain out of it. Our country’s unparallel natural and cultural beauty and its rich biodiversity need to be promoted constantly and effectively.
In addition, another challenge we face is the lack of concrete regulations in Greece for an adventure tour operator. Specific prerequisites, certifications, safety measures etc would help all of us be protected from the risk involved in this sector and set better industry standards.
- 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?)
Although Greece features a spectacular coastline, thousands of beautiful islands and beaches, what is not known abroad is that Greece is primarily a mountainous country with wild and steep mountains, deep fir forests, alpine lakes and rivers with crystal clear waters, waiting to be explored! Plus, the country’s mild weather offer unique holiday opportunities all year round. So, in a few words, Greece needs to be promoted as a year-round travel destination, ideal both for sea and mountain experiences.
- If you could pass on a message to the adventure travel industry about Greece, what would it be?
To the tourism industry in Greece, I would like to pass on the message that we should all aim at creating partnerships and networking opportunities and all together work hard as a team for a more efficient and systematic promotion of our country abroad.
To the adventure travel industry abroad, I would like them to give Greece a chance and trust it as an ideal adventure travel destination and I am sure they won’t regret it! Striking natural landscapes, rich history and culture in every single place, unique flora and fauna, great diversity of landscape, superb cuisine and the hospitality of the local people… what are you waiting for?
- What are your plans for the future?
This is the third year for Trails Beyond and I can see it growing, building a stronger brand and becoming better, which makes me very happy. In the coming years, we would like to have more and more satisfied clients, stronger relationships with our industry’s partners, invest more in online marketing, develop new itineraries/experiences and most important, assist in the development of a more sustainable Greek tourism product.
- If you didn’t work in the travel/tourism industry where would you be?
I could not think of myself working elsewhere than in tourism. I’ve always had the travel bug on me and being able to show my country’s secret beauties to other travelers simply fascinates me! Giving the best of myself to ensure that each one of our guests has memorable and authentic experiences makes me a better person and professional.
Connect with Danae Tsadila on LinkedIn