“New Faces” is a column by GTP that introduces the professionals of the Greek tourism industry. In each column, Greek professionals refer to issues related to their profession, the travel & tourism sector and Greece as a destination.
“Higher education in tourism and hospitality is vital to create better knowledge and awareness and a proper environment for the industry to flourish.”
Michael was born in the UK in 1981. Born in a family of hoteliers, he was exposed from a young age to hospitality. After finishing his high school studies at the Anatolia College in Thessaloniki, he went on to study at the University of Surrey in International Hospitality & Tourism Management. Having obtained his BSc there, he then returned to Greece and took over the business in 2006. Michael has also worked for the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Florida in managerial positions and also attended Personal Development Programs at Cornell University in Hotel Real Estate and Product Innovation. Today, Michael together with his brother George are working to develop and expand their brand Anatolia Hotels & Villas within Greece and abroad.
- What are the things you like best about your job and how would you describe your hospitality and tourism management philosophy?
Growing up in a family-owned business, hotels were a second home to me. It is a profession my family has been doing for three generations. We love offering hospitality to our guests and serving them as best as we can. It is this passion we try to infuse in our employees in creating unique experiences. I love meeting new people and creating new experiences for them in our properties. Our philosophy is very guest oriented. We invest in our people and try to offer our guests a very personalized, unique and friendly service.
- Have you had to face any challenges in your career to get to where you are today?
Quite a few. Working in a family-owned business is no easy task. We had a high standard of quality to maintain and preserve and this meant sticking to what was right even when it was the harder way. To our parents I think we will always be their young children thus making it difficult sometimes to acknowledge our achievements and bring new ideas into the business.
- In regards to hospitality, where do you think Greece needs to improve the most?
Greece needs to work on building a strategic masterplan for the next coming years. The Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) has been doing a great job — where unfortunately so far governments have failed — managing to unite all tourism stakeholders and bringing a new vision to Greek Tourism. There are also many problems with taxation and high insurance costs, which we hope will be eased in time. Finally, higher education in tourism and hospitality is vital to create better knowledge and awareness and a proper environment for the industry to flourish.
- 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?)
We now have properties all around Greece be it hotels or villas. We strongly believe in the potential that north Greece poses with Thessaloniki playing a key role in the Balkans area. It offers a variety of experiences to guests and can still be considered as a hidden gem! Lefkada is also one of those islands with amazing beaches and landscape, easy access but undiscovered!
- If you could pass on a message to the hospitality industry about Greece, what would it be?
Greece is an amazing country worth visiting and promoting all year round. It offers various beautiful landscapes, welcoming people and a certain Greek way experienced nowhere else. One has to truly live it to understand and appreciate this. There are currently many opportunities in Greece ranging from globally known island destinations to undiscovered mountain areas, cities full of vibrant life and culture and heritage.
- What are your plans for the future?
We are currently working on developing and growing our brand of hotels and luxury villas. Our Anatolia Hotels are located in cities around Greece and operate under specific high standards offering a Luxury For Less experience. Our Villa Collection is one of unique individual properties situated in popular locations. We aim to develop through acquiring or leasing new properties, management contracts and franchising our products. At the moment we are considering various projects which will create value for our brand and associates. We strongly believe that, using our family know how and expertise and our people at the forefront, we will achieve our goals..
- If you didn’t work in the hospitality industry where would you be?
I think I would like to be an artist! I love music! I love playing drums and listening to all kinds of music. I always try to combine as many of my hobbies with work as possible.
Connect with Michael Chrysochoidis on LinkedIn