GTP has launched a weekly column that introduces the young professionals of the Greek tourism industry. Every week, a young Greek professional will refer to issues related to their profession, the travel & tourism sector and Greece as a destination.
“When I look outside my window every day, I know that I wouldn’t change what I do for anything!”
Katerina K.Kefala was born in Volos in 1983. During 2002-2004, she studied Hospitality and Tourism Management at Alpine Center and did her practice at Electra Palace in Thessaloniki. Nowadays, she is self-employed at her family’s two tourism enterprises.
Furthermore, Katerina is a member of the Hotels Owners Association of Magnesia and the representative of public relations of her region. She participates in voluntary programs of Pelion, welcomes media representatives and attends seminars related to alternative forms of tourism.
Katerina loves to travel, communicate with people from other countries and cultures. She speaks Greek, English, French, and is now learning Italian.
- What are the things you like best about your job and how would you describe your management philosophy in hospitality?
Hospitality is providing services and protecting and offering the natural landscape to guests. It is making them feel at home, escaping from their routine and helping them gather up memories. Somebody once asked me if I have any hobbies and I realized that being creative at work is not a hobby, but a way of life!
- Have you had to face any challenges in your career to get to where you are today?
An industry such as tourism is full of challenges, depending both on external and internal factors. My parents were always by my side and encouraged me, always stimulated me and I adopted a motto: “Success seems to be connected with action. Keep making long term economical projects and fulfill your beliefs”.
- In regards to hospitality, where do you think Greece needs to improve the most?
The tourism development of Greece, contributes considerably to its economic reinforcement. Tourism is as much an economic phenomenon as a cultural one. This development consists of environmental education, forest and seaside recreation facilities and activities, and the creation of necessary infrastructures (roads, telecommunications, airports and wealthy harbors and marines).
- 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?))
Pelion combines the mountain of Centaurus and the summer resort of the Olympian Gods. We must focus on the history, the natural beauty and the gastronomy that we have inherited, due to the fertile soil and good climate. Above all, we ought to share our treasure and promote it worldwide.
- If you could pass on a message to the tourism industry about Greece, what would it be?
In Greek, the word “hospitality” originates from the word “Filo-Xenia” which means becoming friends with strangers. The combination of natural beauty, the ideal climate and self –producing products, natural and cultural inheritance keeps us on the “eye” of global growth. The plan is to do what we are meant to.
- What are your plans for the future?
As I am blessed from the natural and cultural fortune of my region, I make efforts to build an alternative tourism destination by forming an ECO tourism establishment and living within, introducing tourists to nature, refreshing body and mind by using appropriate facilities and services. Ecotourism means alternative activities.
- If you didn’t work in the tourism industry where would you be?
The hotel is my home. My parents raised me up in a way that welcoming guests became part of my life. Nothing could suit me better, although photoshooting — gathering pictures — while traveling could appeal to me. When I look outside my window every day, I know that I wouldn’t change what I do for anything!
Connect with Katerina K.Kefala on LinkedIn