“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.
“Visitors to Greece mainly choose 5 from 13 of our regions for holidays… But there is much ‘more Greece’ for them to feel, taste, smell, see and hear.”
Thomas Krabokoukis was born in Athens and grew up in the city of Karditsa. Having returned to Athens for studies and after his military service, in 2011 Thomas graduated from the Technological Educational University of Piraeus with a major in Business Administration. In 2013, he completed his Master in Sustainable Development from Harokopeio University of Athens and in 2014 he returned to the city of Karditsa. Thomas gained valuable experiences as he worked for companies both in Athens and Karditsa and developed different skills. In 2017 he moved with his wife to Halkidiki to work for Acrotel Hotels & Resorts, where he earned even more experience and prepared his proposal for a PhD in the University of Thessaly. He is the co-author of more than 10 scientific papers in journals and conferences.
- What are the things you like best about your job and how would you describe your hospitality and tourism management philosophy?
Everything began from my passion to travel. My job is divided into two parts. On the one hand, there is the job I am doing as a hotel employee and on the other hand, there is the PhD. As a hotel employee, I am dealing with online systems (reservations, prices, availability etc.) and responsibilities that are more related to management (statistical results, analyzes, competitors etc.). As a PhD candidate, I am doing research on tourism management, tourism attractiveness, statistical models etc. I love both of these two parts of my job. My “hospitality and tourism” philosophy is included in keywords like “think out of the box”, “inspire”, “philotimo” and “human resources”.
- Have you had to face any challenges in your career to get to where you are today?
I am accustomed to saying that life is like a championship. There will always be challenges and new goals and over the years these challenges will grow. At the moment, we are not talking only about “knowledge workers” but about “adaptive workers”.
- In regards to hospitality, where do you think Greece needs to improve the most?
Management. More specifically, measurable goals, progress assessment, human resources development, creation of “unique” services with emphasis on “memory” and “senses”. Cooperation between businesses – universities – state. In addition, I would like to point out that tourism is mainly concentrated in five Greek prefectures. Mainly two of these prefectures are almost exclusively dependent on tourism and are referred to as “saturated”. We are at the top of the TALC (Tourist Area Life Cycle) model.
- What would you say is Greece’s best kept “secret”? (In other words, what shouldn’t be a secret in your opinion and should be promoted more abroad?)
Argithea! My place of origin. Argithea is in the prefecture of Karditsa and borders with the prefectures of Trikala, Arta and Evrytania. What’s impressive with this area is that it is still wild and pure, keeping some 70 small villages and communities as a “secret” and a “mystery”. Unfortunately, some of them, over the last years do not have permanent residents.
- What is your favorite destination and beach in Greece and why?
That is difficult to say. Big islands of the North Aegean such as Lesvos and Chios; small islands of the Cyclades (and the biggest one: Naxos) and islands of the Dodecanese (such us Symi and Kastellorizo) are in my heart. I prefer areas where I can feel the peculiarity of the place and talk to the locals. They always have many interesting stories to share.
- If you could pass on a message to the hospitality industry about Greece, what would it be?
Greece has been identified as a sea & sun destination and our visitors mainly choose 5 from 13 of our regions for holidays… But there is much “more Greece” for them to feel, taste, smell, see and hear.
- What are your plans for the future?
I will continue dealing with tourism / hospitality management and writing papers for my PhD. My goal is to gain more and more experiences from the tourism industry and after four years to become a professor. As a professor, I will continue to work hard for our country and our tourism industry. It is a great pleasure when doing your main interests, a job. But, it is even greater pleasure when talking about tourism in our country! We live in a place that inspires us!
- If you didn’t work in the hospitality industry where would you be?
Management! Management is everywhere. For that reason, I want to communicate and exchange ideas with managers from different business sectors. Also, I remember myself when I was about 13 years old. I kept saying that I would love to work a few hours a day on the laptop, while on a boat some miles away from a small Greek island.
Connect with Thomas Krabokoukis on LinkedIn