“New Faces” is a column by GTP that introduces the young professionals of the Greek tourism industry. In each column, the Greek professionals refer to issues related to their profession, the travel & tourism sector and Greece as a destination.
“The term philoxenia started from Ancient Greece. It is in our DNA to be a welcoming nation full of passion to create lifetime experiences for our guests….”
Leandros Pempos was born in Athens and is the Regional Manager for Sommet Education for the countries of Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Egypt for Les Roches Global Hospitality Education and Glion Institute of Higher Education. He attended Les Roches Global Hospitality Education in Switzerland as a student. During his studies, he worked in different countries such as Spain, China, Switzerland in order to gain valuable experience in the hospitality industry. After graduation Leandros returned to Greece to work in managerial positions and put into practice all the skills and knowledge he gained throughout his studies and working in different countries around the world. His former position was Restaurant Manager for the renowned Nammos Restaurant by the Sea on the island of Mykonos. He was appointed in his current position in January 2017. His duties include providing guidance to potential candidates that want to pursue their education in Hospitality Management and enter the exciting world of opportunities and different paths worldwide.
- What are the things you like best about your job and how would you describe your hospitality and tourism management philosophy?
I admire working with young candidates. I truly feel the impact I make in their lives by counseling them to pursue their education in one of our Institutions. It is a role that I take very seriously, as deciding about their education and the career path they want to follow is a crucial stepping stone in their life. My hospitality and tourism management philosophy is focused on hard work, attention to detail and willingness to improve.
- Have you had to face any challenges in your career to get to where you are today?
I believe that challenges makes you stronger and a more experienced professional. I face challenges every single day in my career but in order to become successful you have to face the problems as an opportunity to learn and become stronger out of them. I follow this principle in my life “It always seems impossible until its done”.
- In regards to hospitality, where do you think Greece needs to improve the most?
We have to change our entire mindset regarding working in hospitality. The Hospitality Sector in Greece is growing with many major investments following in the next years. The demand for management positions is high but the supply of experienced and well educated professionals is low. In previous years we have seen a big growth of young students starting their education in Hospitality Management. We have to produce more well equipped professionals with the desire to return back to Greece and upgrade the existing market and services.
- 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?)
There is no real secret. Each one of us has to follow some principles in their life and be driven by short and long term goals. Hard work combined with a desire to succeed and backed with a well equipped educational background that adds value not only as a degree but also as an evolution of yourself would be adequate to have a successful career.
- If you could pass on a message to the hospitality industry about Greece, what would it be?
Greece is a country blessed with natural beauty and very hardworking people. The term philoxenia started from Ancient Greece. It is in our DNA to be a welcoming nation full of passion to create lifetime experiences for our guests. My message would be to visit Greece, work in Greece and experience the great lifestyle that we are offering as a nation.
- What are your plans for the future?
My plan for the future is to continue working for Sommet Education, hopefully for many successful years. It is a big honor to represent Les Roches Global Hospitality Education and Glion Institute of Higher Education. I strongly believe in the value that those institutions add to the life of a potential student. It is a life changing experience filled with knowledge and friendships that they follow you for many years. It is a big family worldwide and I am proud to support both schools in creating the “New Hospitality Leaders”.
- If you didn’t work in the hospitality industry where would you be?
I believe I would be a professional athlete in track and field. I spent most of my time until the age of 17 running 400 and 800 meters professionally with successful participation nationwide in championships. I always advise parents to push their kids into sports. Except the physical benefits, sports will also help shape their minds and make them hardworking and result driven.