“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.
“My approach to marketing is an attempt to incorporate the traditional Greek idea of ‘philoxenia’… In Greek, ‘philoxenia’ literally means ‘love of guests through generosity and willingness’.”
With a passion for tourism from an early age, Ramina Ibragimova has traveled to many countries to gain a wider perspective on the industry and hotel marketing. As a marketing executive at Makedonia Palace, she perceives the needs, organizes strategies and invests in people, all the while proving in action that a dynamic professional knows that everything is ultimately a matter of implementing the right strategy. Ramina is counting four years of experience at Makedonia Palace, including the period of the hotel’s renovation and rebranding.
- What are the things you like best about your job and how would you describe your hospitality and tourism management philosophy?
The thing I enjoy the most about my job is… my job! Honestly, I feel especially lucky that throughout my career I have had the opportunity to develop and implement successful strategies, founded on creativity, innovation and collaboration. My approach to marketing is an attempt to incorporate the traditional Greek idea of “philoxenia”. The English translation – hospitality – does not fully convey the meaning of the original. In Greek, “philoxenia” literally means “love of guests through generosity and willingness”.
- Have you had to face any challenges in your career to get to where you are today?
I accept challenges and I am not afraid to take on responsibility. After all, the challenge of high demands and tight deadlines is always refreshing. With dedication and love for what you do and a will to learn coupled with hard work, you can rise to every challenge.
- In regards to hospitality, where do you think Greece needs to improve the most?
We live in an amazing country that can support tourism twelve months a year, thanks to the excellent climate and many different thematic options that provide a good, particularly attractive tourist product. The issue is to successfully promote the destination to potential visitors. We need to upgrade our tourism product to attract visitors who will not just choose our country for the sea-and-sun model, but who seek out life experiences on their holidays.
- 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 believe that Greece’s cultural heritage as the basis for representation of a tourism destination has the power to establish motive for a visit. Innovative methods of promoting cultural monuments can turn the archaeological sites and museums of Greece into centers of cultural education with global reach.
- What is your favorite destination and beach in Greece and why?
I believe that if there was a contest among the beaches of Halkidiki, Kavourotrypes would probably win first prize! The thick pine groves that grow down to the water’s edge, the crystal-clear waters and the sun-bleached rocks make you feel like you are in heaven.
- If you could pass on a message to the hospitality industry about Greece, what would it be?
The message that I wish to convey to hoteliers is that we are living in a digital age, when things in the technological field are moving faster than ever and trends in the tourism and hospitality industry are changing constantly. So, hospitality facilities must feed technological innovation always with evolving expectations and the quality of the content must be ideal in order to stand out.
- What are your plans for the future?
My goal is to keep amassing experiences both in marketing and in the tourism industry, and also to obtain some further specialization certifications in Business – Strategic Marketing and in Digital Marketing. My inspiration and driving creative force is knowledge, and its acquisition never ceases.
- If you didn’t work in the hospitality industry where would you be?
Everything is marketing! The marketing environment is a lively setting filled with very strict timelines and changes, and that is what keeps me constantly alert, because it is also a sector that determines the parameters that contribute to the success of a business. I have never imagined myself doing something other than this.
Connect with Ramina Ibragimova on LinkedIn