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.
Andreas is an experienced and skilled General Manager with expertise in hotel management, food and beverage operations, vendor relations, profit and loss management and guest services operations.
After 17 years of managing small and medium luxury hotels, he is currently developing the “Me Zen” project, a small chain of traditional Tsipouro Bars throughout Greece.
Following the successful opening of “Me Zen Volos” he and his team are preparing for the opening of “Me Zen Larisa”.
- What are the things you like best about your job and how would you describe your hospitality and tourism management philosophy?
Travelling around Greece and the world to discover flavors is what makes my job unique. Meeting people with different cultural backgrounds always reminds me of the reasons for choosing a career in tourism.
My motto is: “Treat your guests as you’d wish to be treated. Be yourself and smile. It doesn’t cost a penny!”
- Have you had to face any challenges in your career to get to where you are today?
Tons of work , full time schedules and no holidays and days off for years, elder colleagues that I had to manage, working on weekends and public holidays, accurate forecasting and teambuilding were a few of the challenges I had to face during the 17 years I have been managing hotels.
- In regards to hospitality, where do you think Greece needs to improve the most?
Better management of regional airports will certainly give a boost to more destinations. Destination marketing must at last follow a steady plan and be managed by one independent authority. Millions of euros have been spent during the past decades without any measurable outcome.
- 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?)
A landscape with a thousand faces, from rivers and lakes to mountains and beaches have given Thessaly and especially Pelion the nickname “The resort of Gods”. Thessaly and especially Volos is the homeland of meze, the basis of Greek gastronomy. Probably that was the reason for being picked by the gods.
- If you could pass on a message to the global hospitality and tourism industry about Greece, what would it be?
The rebranding of Greece has started. Crisis has led young ventures to develop alternative tourism with a turn to real experiences. Be a part of a great startup!
- What are your plans for the future?
While developing “Me Zen” spots I’m trying to gather as much knowledge and experience on Greek gastronomy through “Me Zen on tour” and give it back to our visitors using modern techniques and fresh ideas. I hope that in the near future some of these recipes will be placed on the shelves of Delis around the world.
- If you didn’t work in the hospitality industry where would you be?
As a lifetime hospitality worker having been working in the industry since my high school years on the island of Kos, it is rather difficult for me to choose a different sector. I guess shipping might be an option as it includes travelling and challenges.
Connect with Andreas Diakodimitris on LinkedIn