GTP has launched a 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.
“Deliver what you would expect to receive as a guest.”
After working as a business consultant for five years in a multinational insurance company in Athens, in 2012 he decided to join forces with his brother to start a company and relocate to Milos. They focused on providing value added services and offering in-depth knowledge of the destination in order to differentiate from their on-line competition.
Currently, along with the basic services of a travel agency (tickets, accommodation, car/moto rental, transfers), Antonis and his brother are operating and promoting a variety of alternative activities (guided tours: geological & sightseeing, hiking, cooking lessons and sailing) offering the possibility to enhance a standard “accommodation & transfer” package with “mouth-watering” add-ons.
- What are the things you like best about your job and how would you describe your hospitality and tourism management philosophy?
Experiencing the uniqueness of Milos along with our guests is what makes me love my work. I really like it when people are astonished witnessing Sarakiniko for the first time or diving into the crystal waters of Kleftiko. Our customer centered philosophy, can be summarized in “deliver what you would expect to receive as a guest”.
- Have you had to face any challenges in your career to get to where you are today?
The balance between family and work is the big challenge I am facing from day 1, up until today. Having a new company along with a young family is very difficult and even with the crucial help of my brother with whom we co-founded “Travel me to Milos”, my family took a heavy toll in order for our business to prosper.
- In regards to hospitality, where do you think Greece needs to improve the most?
Speaking for our region, I believe that it’s critical to improve our ferry and air connections. I find it unacceptable that we have to wait until early May in order to know the standard ferry connections for the upcoming summer, especially for a country where tourism is believed to be our “heavy industry”.
- 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?)
Milos is a gift from God to the world. It’s a place where you can really feel that “sky is the limit”. We have many possibilities to create custom made packages, addressing to the different needs of every visitor. Geology, history (ancient and modern), local culture, natural beauty (the best beaches in Aegean Sea), versatile gastronomy… All these contribute to a life-time experience.
- If you could pass on a message to the global hospitality and tourism industry about Greece, what would it be?
We need to focus on what makes our country unique. I believe that experiential tourism is the future of our industry. People are after the “experience” rather than just to be somewhere. Many areas (especially our “flagship” destinations) are trying to compete on international level based on price and volume, while we could explore alternative possibilities of increasing the capital expenditure per visitor rather than trying to increase the average number of visitors.
- What are your plans for the future?
Our effort is to continue to create new alternative activities offering unique and memorable experience for Milos visitors. We are thinking to create new thematic packages based on new seasonal activities (olive oil & wine making, fishing and bird watching) hoping to expand our touristic season.
- If you didn’t work in the hospitality industry where would you be?
I really like interacting with people, setting new standards or improving situations when I see missed opportunities and my previous occupation as a business consultant also allowed me that. So if I was not working in the hospitality industry I would see myself back as a business consultant and process re-engineer.
Connect with Antonis Mallis on LinkedIn