“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.
“I love making people fall in love with Greece… I dream of making people become ‘addicted’ to Greece and that is how I came up with Grekaddict.”
Souzana is a highly passionate and talented entrepreneur, who has successfully turned her startup Grekaddict.com into a fast-growing company. Having graduated from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki with a Bachelor in Philosophy and Pedagogics, she holds a Masters degree in Philosophy. Souzana has been working in tourism sector since 2014, possessing expertise in strategic partnership identification and business development. Her key skills include negotiations, team management and public speaking.
- What are the things you like best about your job and how would you describe your hospitality and tourism management philosophy?
I am passionate about turning something that was initially just an idea, into a successful fast growing company. Discussing ideas, negotiating, creating strategies and then implementing them, motivate me daily to work hard. My philosophy in a nutshell is: “Give your heart, don’t just deliver. Make people get addicted to your country, your company, you as a person and as a professional!”
- Have you had to face any challenges in your career to get to where you are today?
Challenges always existed and will exist no matter if you are an employee or an employer. Personally, I love challenges. They integrate me and make me want to succeed even more. Actually, Grekaddict.com is the biggest challenge I have ever dared to take and I am thrilled to see it going so well.
- In regards to hospitality, where do you think Greece needs to improve the most?
I will address three pillars: education, technology and the tax system.
- 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?)
I would definitely invest more in promoting food and culture combined with unspoiled destinations. For example, why advertise Mykonos or Santorini, when those destinations already face problems of unsustainability? We have so many secret gems of unparalleled beauty -destinations where travelers can experience the authentic Greece while helping the local economy grow.
- What is your favorite destination and beach in Greece and why?
I am from Thessaloniki and as you know, for us there is no other place like Halkidiki! But, honestly, I invite you this summer to visit Vourvourou, take a Blue Lagoon Cruise to Diaporos Islands – these are small untouched islands off Halkidiki – and I bet you will come back every year. So, let us “addict” you with Halkidiki!
- If you could pass on a message to the hospitality industry about Greece, what would it be?
“Support young talents and give chances to new people with pioneering ideas!”. We need new blood, new fresh ideas and new disrupting technologies. However, I fear that we are so afraid of all those things. While trying to promote Grekaddict.com, so many times I saw that people liked our product and they understand its value, but they were not used to trusting young professionals and startups in general.
- What are your plans for the future?
For the time being we are in search of new tours and activities to enrich our portfolio in Greece. And of course, we are looking to expand our partnerships with hotels, property management companies, travel agents and tour operators. As an innovative startup, we want to leave our footprint in Greece’s tourism industry and soon expand to other countries. Recently, I traveled to Cyprus, which is actually our next goal. Last but not least, we are considering some fundraising opportunities to boost our growth abroad.
- If you didn’t work in the hospitality industry where would you be?
Honestly, I cannot imagine myself elsewhere. Hospitality is my passion. It is me. I love making people fall in love with Greece, I feel fulfilled when i see them happy and excited with their holidays. I dream to make people get addicted to Greece, and this is how i came up with “Grekaddict”. I consider myself blessed to have realized which career path makes me happy.
Connect with Souzana Theodoridou on LinkedIn