“New Faces” is a column by GTP that introduces the young professionals of the Greek tourism industry. In each column, the young Greek professionals refer to issues related to their profession, the travel & tourism sector and Greece as a destination.
“My job is my passion! …It is so important for me to encourage new people to explore the opportunities in the tourism industry, and moreover in the ground handling sector, with its privilege to welcome first and greet last all tourists that have chosen to visit Greece by air!”
Born in Athens in 1987, Eirini Georgantopoulou is the Marketing Executive at Goldair Handling, one of the leading suppliers of ground handling services in South East Europe. Eirini studied Tourism Management and holds an Msc in Services Management (Marketing & PR) from Athens University of Economics & Business (AUEB). She started her career at Goldair Handling in 2008 and in 2010 she became the Personal Assistant to the CEO.
- What are the things you like best about your job and how would you describe your hospitality and tourism management philosophy?
My job is my passion! It provides me with the opportunity to be creative, work on new projects and meet new people; this is undoubtedly creatively challenging and fulfilling.
Tourism is our country’s core industry, which is growing rapidly in the recent years, despite the political and financial uncertainty. The fundamental value of our philosophy is “philoxenia”. The official translation of “philoxenia” is “hospitality”, but in reality it doesn’t adequately describe the essence of it. “Philoxenia”, a word that literally means “love for the foreigners,” is a generosity of spirit, a joyful kind of the-best-of-what’s-mine-is-yours attitude in which Greeks take great pride as a defining attribute.
- Have you had to face any challenges in your career to get to where you are today?
I have been through a number of challenges throughout the years, but I consider those challenges as the stepping stones of my career and continuous efforts have been made to sufficiently face them. Trying to meet and exceed the expectations of customers with different cultures and requirements, keep the balances between the executives of top management, or even, promoting our company properly and efficiently using a variety of marketing tools, are challenges, just to name a few.
- In regards to hospitality, where do you think Greece needs to improve the most?
SERVQUAL (Service & Quality). Achieving customers’ satisfaction as well as offering a high quality of service in tourism and hospitality is of great importance. We should focus on innovative ideas, services and products.
For us, at Goldair Handling, it is very important to continuously improve the services we offer and to meet and even exceed the needs of our clients who are served consistently.
- Which is your country’s best kept “secret”? (In other words, what shouldn’t be a secret in your opinion and should be promoted more abroad?)
Over the last few years, new services and products have been introduced, in order to upgrade the overall customers’ experience. Apart from the tourists who visit Greece to enjoy the sunny weather and the amazing beaches, there has been an increasing number of tourists who are looking for environmentally and culturally oriented activities. These people seem to appreciate a new kind of lifestyle; they wish to have a better understanding of Greece. However, to me, Greek gastronomy is our “secret” which we must further promote. We are blessed, to produce and provide a variety of delicious food across the country.
- If you could pass on a message to the hospitality industry about Greece, what would it be?
A business is only as good as the clients it serves, and no business gets far after losing the clients it has. The key to success is building relationships that go beyond one-time projects and provide value to these clients on a consistent, ongoing basis.
- What are your plans for the future?
My long-term goals involve growing with Goldair Handling where I can continue to learn, take on additional responsibilities and contribute as much value as I can. Over the short-term my focus is to expand our marketing activities and enhance our brand awareness.
- If you didn’t work in the hospitality industry where would you be?
Actually, I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else! It is so important for me to encourage new people to explore the opportunities in the tourism industry, and moreover in the ground handling sector, with its privilege to welcome first and greet last all tourists that have chosen to visit Greece by air! It needs passion and professionalism at every level, from entry to executive.
Connect with Eirini Georgantopoulou on LinkedIn