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New Faces: Ioanna Karamani, Founder at ‘Your Optima Lodging Evolution’

“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.

Ioanna Karamani

“My main plan is to combine the upper-level hotel facilities, genuine hospitality, and the excellent primary sector of Greece, so the visitor truly experiences the Greek life and becomes an ambassador of it.”

Business: Your Optima Lodging Evolution
Location: Naxos

Ioanna Karamani was born and raised on the Greek island of Naxos. With over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry on various islands of the Cyclades group, in 2017 she created Your Optima Lodging Evolution, which offers comprehensive hospitality management services, professional consulting, market leadership, and operational excellence.

  • What are the things you like best about your job and how would you describe your hospitality and tourism management philosophy?

As the founder of Your Optima Lodging Evolution, what I truly love in my job is designating all possible evolving potentials of accommodation properties and putting them in practice. Ground-breaking analysis, market research, efficiently accurate strategies, high standards of service along with personal care is what it takes for a project to succeed. All in all, quality matters!

  • Have you had to face any challenges in your career to get to where you are today?

Tourism comprises a multitude of activities which form one of the world’s fastest-growing international sectors. Meeting challenges is a necessary condition for personal development skills. Many challenges have turned up and have been overcome in my career. Confidently, I am willing to accept a lot more.

  • In regards to hospitality, where do you think Greece needs to improve the most?

With regard to the hospitality industry, Greece’s necessity is to review and revise its domestic taxation system. By ensuring favorable domestic taxation, Greece will rapidly achieve significant growth in the hospitality area and will obtain a leading role in fierce competition, which constitutes precedence in such a consecutively evolving activity.

  • 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?)

Greece’s mainland and islands are a 365-day destination which should be communicated and promoted more widely abroad. Greece has enough infrastructure and the ideal climate to be welcoming visitors all year long.

  • What is your favorite destination and beach in Greece and why?

My home place, Naxos island, is definitely a return-destination that is adored by visitors from all over the world. A big island in the heart of the Aegean Sea and its sea routes, with imposing mountain massifs and fertile valleys, inhabited by cheerful people with a tradition in music and dance, and full of beauty that enchants visitors. With its long history, important monuments and intense tourist life, it occupies a distinct place among the Cycladic islands.

  • If you could pass on a message to the hospitality industry about Greece, what would it be?

In Greek society a person’s ability to abide by the laws of hospitality determined nobility and social standing. In Ancient Greece, hospitality was a right, with the host being expected to make sure the needs of his guests were met. The ancient Greek term “xenia”, expressed this ritualized guest-friendship relation.

  • What are your plans for the future?

Your Optima Lodging Evolution was established in 2017 and has contributed to promoting the high-quality services of Naxos. My main plan is to combine the upper-level hotel facilities, genuine hospitality, and the excellent primary sector of Greece, so the visitor truly experiences the Greek life and becomes an ambassador of it.

  • If you didn’t work in the hospitality industry where would you be?

As being active in the hospitality industry has been my only decision for over a decade, that option had never crossed my mind before. Possibly, I would manage other businesses.

Connect with Ioanna Karamani on LinkedIn

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About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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