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.
“Love what you do, have tact and humor, enjoy!”
George I. Skaramagas is a wellness & fitness manager. He graduated from the University of Athens where he acquired his BSc in Physical Education and Sports Science.
He holds a MSc in Sports and Recreation Management which was his work field since 1997. He has also worked in the organizing committee of Athens 2004 and for various sports organizations such as Team Europe Champions league.
For many years George worked in the wellness industry as a counselor supporting overweight and obese individuals to lose weight and live a more healthy and optimistic life. Since 1997 he was a lifestyle coach and in early 2004 he “slightly” changed his orientation and made a transition to the hospitality industry, that of organizing, operating and managing spas and wellness centers around Greece.
Having worked in renowned hotel properties such as Lagonissi Grand Resort and Astir Palace Resort of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, today he is the Wellness & Fitness Manager at Capsis Hotels & Resorts where he is operating the Medical, Nutritional & Wellness department.
His motto is “wisdom – knowledge – humility”; foundations of our culture and principles of philoxenia.
- What are the things you like best about your job and how would you describe your hospitality and tourism management philosophy?
What I like best is that I come in contact with “citizens of the world”, with people that under regular circumstances I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet or interact with.
I am an “ambassador” of my culture and my country’s philosophy which is condensed into the quote “νους υγιής εν σώματι υγιές” (a healthy mind into a healthy body).
Hospitality, or better philoxenia, primarily is an art of living, foundations of the Greek philosophy.
- Have you had to face any challenges in your career to get to where you are today?
Yes, the dilemma to either follow a career as a sports scientist or to seize the opportunity and shift forward in the hospitality business.
- In regards to hospitality, where do you think Greece needs to improve the most?
Greece’s strength is the quality of its human resources, young people with a plethora of academic qualifications and background. We should stay more focused to improve the quality of our services as we have the potential of our human resources and the natural landscapes.
Greece should find a smart way to extend the operational period of its hotels and offer indefinite contracts to the high qualified human resources.
- 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?)
Secrets should stay secrets and not interspersed to others!
I insist on a pedagogical value that I was taught years ago when I was a university student: “An excellent educator ought to have love, tact and humor”.
The same values should characterize all those people employed in the hospitality business: Love what you do, have tact and humor, enjoy!
- If you could pass on a message to the global hospitality and tourism industry about Greece, what would it be?
Greece, Chosen by the Gods, why not by humans?
- What are your plans for the future?
I am in a field where nowadays there is a shift in the hospitality industry, from spas to wellness and from wellness to medical services.
Hotels tend to offer not just experiences to their customers. They will be “transformed” into integrated wellness and medical farms.
I would like to be part of this transition.
- If you didn’t work in the hospitality industry where would you be?
Becoming a sports scientist was a conscious choice from my childhood years. Becoming what I am today, was also a conscious choice from my early adult years. The difference of the above two is the “time of the decisions” made.
What will I become in the near future? Only time and experience will tell!
Connect with George Skaramagas on LinkedIn