“Face of the Week” is GTP’s 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.
“The tourism industry is our number one asset and we must be ready to take advantage of any single opportunity that could arise from it.”
Harris was born in Athens in 1983. He is a graduate of Business Administration from the Athens University of Economics and Business and a holder of a Master’s Degree in Media and Communication from the University of Indianapolis.
His working experience has evolved from human resources and banking services to public relations and communications. He has worked in this sector for the last seven years of his career.
For the past five years he works for Active Media as a PR & Communications Manager.
- What are the things you like best about your job and how would you describe your hospitality/tourism management philosophy?
Working in the public relations and communications sector is very challenging. My job is to maintain relationships with an organization’s target audience, the media and other opinion leaders. Communication never ends and messages need to be delivered to your audience with validity and precision. So I need to be a 100% accurate in my written and verbal communication. The same philosophy is applied in my hospitality and tourism management. I work closely with companies activated in the travel and tourism sector that need an efficient communications plan delivered and implemented to bring the best possible results.
- Have you had to face any challenges in your career to get to where you are today?
In order for your career to move forward, you should always be careful and do small decisive steps one at a time. Any career that brings up the full potential of your skills and talents is also full of challenges. Many times I have needed to decide for one way or the other while I have also taken some risks in certain circumstances when needed (for example when working for the airlines’ sector, challenges were faced on a daily basis). My job is demanding so I need to be organized and hard-working to succeed.
- In regards to hospitality, where do you think Greece needs to improve the most?
At the company I work for — Active Media — we specialize in sports tourism events and every year we carefully evaluate the travel and tourism environment of Greece. I believe that there is still a great margin of partnerships that could be implemented for the improvement of the efficiency of our hospitality industry. Companies, hotels, as well as the private and public sectors should be aligned with a common policy and strategy direction.
- Which 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?)
Greece is full of beautiful tourism destinations and so is the Peloponnese — Achaia is my region. Our history is our secret and then comes our natural beauties such as our exceptional mountains and seaside landscapes. We are able to promote activities and services on all occasions and seasons. We just need to be more active and focus on publishing and promoting more images of Greece abroad.
- If you could pass on a message to the hospitality/tourism industry about Greece, what would it be?
My message is that no one in any sector should rely on what the previous government/director/executive has accomplished. Every time you need to aim higher and work hard. The tourism industry is our number one asset and we must be ready to take advantage of any single opportunity that could arise from it.
- What are your plans for the future?
Within the last 3 years, working for Active Media, we have accomplished a lot of things, but one is for sure. We still have many things we want to achieve! We started offering sports tourism services from Peloponnese (Tripoli, Ancient Messini, Kalamata, Pylos, Costa Navarino), we worked closely with Epirus (Zagori) and we continued with Santorini. The future target is to promote and offer our sports tourism services from every part of Greece and of course to further promote them abroad.
- If you didn’t work in the hospitality/tourism industry where would you be?
The communications sector doesn’t have any boundaries. We work in the hospitality industry because this is something that we do well and have been awarded for our job. Of course this doesn’t mean that we can’t work for other industries as well. Companies from the IT & Telecommunications, TV and clothing industries have successfully been served by our company as well.
Connect with Harris Linardos on LinkedIn