“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.
“…It’s not by chance that the word ‘philoxenia’ is originally Greek! Greece has put life to the fore and its people have a huge belief in ‘leventia’ (generosity of heart), ‘parea’ (company), ‘kefi’ (high spirits) ‘filotimo’ (sense of honor). We are a blessed country but we have to believe it and promote it!”
Georgina Parra was born in Athens in 1986. She holds a bachelor degree in Business Administration from the University of Piraeus (PAPEI) and an MBA focusing on Tourism Management. She has attended a series of seminars on Management and Human Resources at the Baruch University in New York, USA, and completing her academic path, she studied Journalism at the private college of Ant1-Media lab. Georgina began her carrier in the hotel business working in several resorts on Mykonos and Santorini and in 2016 she joined Electra Hotels and Resorts as the Corporate Sales Manager for the whole group. In early 2018, she moved on to Grand Hyatt Athens for the hotel’s opening and from the beginning of 2019 she works for Chandris Hotels and the brand new Athens Marriott Hotel as Sales Manager. She speaks English, Spanish and French.
- What are the things you like best about your job and how would you describe your hospitality and tourism management philosophy?
Everything started from my huge passion to travel. I can honestly say that I love every aspect of what I do and I enjoy every moment at work on a daily basis. Working in the hospitality industry is like traveling without luggage. On the other hand, sales is a unique experience and keeps you in a constant “alert mode”. It gives me the opportunity to meet people from different workplaces, with different backgrounds and cultures. I love promoting our hotels and actually our country, offering all the aspects of Greece’s Philoxenia to the country’s valuable guests.
- Have you had to face any challenges in your career to get to where you are today?
A job in hospitality is like a typical marathon! There are always challenges and obstacles that you must overcome. Everything begins from how much you enjoy your job and how ambitious you are. The main difficulty is that sometimes you have to cooperate directly and with effectiveness with people who do not have the same ethos and values with you or unfortunately they don’t like their job as much as you do.
- In regards to hospitality, where do you think Greece needs to improve the most?
Greece is one of the top destinations worldwide. This creates a huge responsibility for high-level service, fully trained staff and a high quality of premises and facilities. If we manage to improve training and education in hospitality, services and infrastructure, in a strategic and efficient way then we could be unsurpassed.
- 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 is not only ‘sea, sun and drinks’ throughout the summer! It is a destination that can also offer unforgettable experiences through the winter period. The public and private sector, every one of us working in the hospitality industry, should try to change the perception of travelers. Greece could be the most popular 365-day destination than any other place in the world!
- What is your favorite destination and beach in Greece and why?
It’s surely something not new and of course not rare! Mykonos is a unique and ideal destination, even I have to admit that during the last years the island is losing more and more of its original character. Nevertheless, this small paradise provides you with so many choices since it objectively combines a magnificent landscape with an unforgettable gastronomy and also an enjoyable day and night life!
- If you could pass on a message to the hospitality industry about Greece, what would it be?
There are so many places- besides Athens and the popular islands of Mykonos and Santorini – to visit in our country, offering different aspects of tourism and experiences that you cannot imagine. Furthermore, it’s not by chance that the word of philoxenia is originally Greek! Greece has put life to the fore and its people have a huge belief in leventia (generosity of heart), parea (company), kefi (high spirits) filotimo (sense of honor). We are a blessed country but we have to believe it and promote it!
- What are your plans for the future?
My plan is to establish myself in the hospitality industry by improving with continuous education and various experience, by creating strong cooperation and gaining the confidence of partners and customers. I believe that when you set your goals higher and higher, life always finds the way to reward you in the most exciting and creative way. And I already have high goals… So, I keep working hard, with a spirit of cooperation and continuous excitement!
- If you didn’t work in the hospitality industry where would you be?
Working for TV projects with themes related to traveling around the world was always very appealing to me and actually this is one of the reasons I decided to study journalism. It would have been a unique way to combine my love for travel with work!
Connect with Georgina Parra on LinkedIn