GTP has launched a new weekly column that will introduce the young professionals in the Greek hospitality industry. Every week, a young Greek entrepreneur will refer to issues related to their profession, the travel & tourism sector and Greece as a destination.
“Tourism is not a simple office job but a passion!”
Region of origin: Volos, Magnesia
Company: Family-owned tourism enterprise
Dimitris Leventis was born in 1985 in Volos, where he graduated from high school. He completed his academic studies on Hospitality and Tourism Management at Huddersfield University in the UK.
Today he works in the tourism enterprise owned by his family for the last 34 years and has expanded the business portfolio through the designing and launching of social tourism events for Pelion (Mammamia Weddings). Furthermore, as an active member of the “Commission of Tourism Development and Promotion Zagora – Mouresi Municipality”, Dimitris actively participates in the decision-making of tourism and business issues regarding East Pelion.
He has also been honored for his decisive participation in voluntary programs conducted in Pelion and Volos such as the Sirtaki dance — which gave Volos its Guinness World Award. Dimitris has attended many seminars related to alternative forms of tourism as well as specially designed programs that meet modern professional marketing and communication requirements through the use of social media.
- What are the things you like best about your job and how would you describe your hospitality and tourism management philosophy?
One thing I like is the interpersonal communication. I deal with different people from all over the world every day and various needs must be met. This kind of interaction is a motivation to the path leading to constant progress. I find it exciting to implement new ideas that have a multicultural approach and see them through to success.
My philosophy regarding hospitality and tourism management is that customers should be treated as our friends and we must constantly provide them with the best service possible.
- Have you had to face any challenges in your career to get to where you are today?
The tourism industry is surely a field full of challenges. The economic crisis could be considered as the most indicative factor. However, the crisis made us reconsider our approach, increase the level of our offered services and boost profitable synergies.
- In regards to hospitality, where do you think Greece needs to improve the most?
We need to build on our progress, perform best practices and make it easier for people around the world to visit Greece, so even more travelers will choose to come, support our travel and tourism sector and contribute to the national economy.
Also, I believe that as Greeks we should get the relevant education regarding hospitality from our early school years… After all, Philoxenia is a geek word that needs to stand out.
- What 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?)
Few destinations offer the variety and diversity of Pelion that conjures up so many different primal travel images. At the same time travelers can enjoy sparkling coastlines, mountains, the “scent” of unspoiled environment, architecture, history, myths and sumptuous cuisine. Pelion “seduces” and “conquers” the hearts of visitors, every season of the year.
- If you could pass on a message to the global hospitality and tourism industry about Greece, what would it be?
It is important to stress that we view tourism as a global industry and we see ourselves as much in competition with other destinations. Tourism is at the center of its economic growth strategy as the country looks to ease its reliance on natural resources.
- What are your plans for the future?
In the short term I would like to idealize the offered services of my tourism business and expand my portfolio by using marketing intelligence, innovation and the power of social media.
My long term goals involve the creation and implementation of a strategic work plan to be developed in consultation with the tourism industry and that would outline the key actions needed to assist Pelion reach its potential.
- If you didn’t work in the hospitality industry where would you be?
Everyone in this industry is aware that tourism is not a simple office job but a passion! As a third generation owner of a hospitality business, I feel very blessed to be a part of this dynamic sector that is growing at a rapid pace. And I want to be in the middle of the “boom”, the excitement and the energy!