GTP has launched a weekly column that introduces the young professionals of the Greek hospitality industry. Every week, a young Greek professional will refer to issues related to their profession, the travel & tourism sector and Greece as a destination.
“Greece has enormous potential and a vast variety of choices, suitable for any guest whether their travel purpose is business or leisure”
Location: Athens branch
Alexandros was born in Athens and has been working in the field of tourism for over 15 years now and tells us that he has no intention of stopping just yet!
He has obtained a BSc in Tourism Management, an MSc in International Hotel Management, and a second MSc in Human Resource Management. Currently, he is preparing his proposal for his PhD.
At the moment he is employed at Booking.com as an Account Manager, while most of his past experience was at hotels, including being a GM of a small, boutique hotel.
Alexandros is also a volunteer mentor/coach for new tourism employees at A.U.E.B. Job Pairs.
- What are the things you like best about your job and how would you describe your hospitality and tourism management philosophy?
I would have to say that I like best the communication and interaction. The fact that I am meeting new people every day, allows me to educate myself continuously. It also drives me to improve my approach towards them and find new ways to fulfill their needs. The idea is to listen as much as possible.
- Have you had to face any challenges in your career to get to where you are today?
Many, involving both career choices and within the workplace and might have taken a few “left turns” in the process. However, any challenge and subsequent decision should be judged with the data you had when you made them. Eventually, any person with love for this field will find the way to contribute actively and positively.
- In regards to hospitality, where do you think Greece needs to improve the most?
Quality personnel, legislation and destination management. Talented, new people should be allowed to bring forth “fresh ideas” for implementation, while legislation and taxation should be designed so as to help development. Finally, Greece needs to have a more holistic plan to sell itself as a destination internationally.
- 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?)
Referring to Greece in general, there are too many “secrets” to just pick one! My idea of the secret is also an advice: Do not just stick to travel guides, but ask the locals what is best to do where you go. They will be your “insider guide” of each destination.
- If you could pass on a message to the global hospitality and tourism industry about Greece, what would it be?
Greece has enormous potential and a vast variety of choices, suitable for any guest whether their travel purpose is business or leisure. Hospitality is a second nature to us and we are always willing to offer our best to the prospective visitor.
- What are your plans for the future?
I would like to be more actively involved in teaching, coaching and developing tourism-related personnel to transfer the knowledge I have gained so far. With any luck I hope to manage a mid-sized hotel staffed by people I have hand-picked myself.
- If you didn’t work in the hospitality industry where would you be?
I would probably be a mathematician. Next to tourism and communication, it has been the field that draws me the most. Someday, I hope I can combine both in the form of forecasting and analyzing tourism demand and supply.
Editor’s note: The above views are exclusively of Alexandros Dardoufas and do not represent the views of his employer.
Connect with Alexandros Dardoufas on LinkedIn