“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.
“We have many secret ‘jewels’ in Greece. What matters the most is their sustainable development by using best practices and avoiding mistakes.”
Yannis was born in 1982 on Chios – where he began his path in the hotel industry – and later moved to Athens for his tourism studies at the Technological Educational Institute (TEI). He continued his career in the hotel industry in international and domestic chains, including Intercontinental Hotels Group and Aldemar Hotels. Yannis then obtained a master’s degree in “Planning, Management and Tourism Policy” from the University of the Aegean. His career continued at Booking.com – for a total of 9 years – as an Account Manager and then as a Team Leader, where he managed the development of various destinations in Greece and Cyprus, such as Crete, Ionian Islands and Santorini. Yannis currently provides Consulting Services to hoteliers via Reload Hotel Sales Management, a company that provides expertise in Online Presence, Sales & Distribution and focuses on Sales & Revenue Optimization. He also has broad research activity in the field of Destination Management.
- What are the things you like best about your job and how would you describe your hospitality and tourism management philosophy?
The most exiting thing about my job is that I see the direct impact of my actions. Data is instant for all internet tools, so the results are easy to measure. This is fascinating as it helps me test, learn and adjust constantly. You keep what works and adapt what doesn’t, and this is a great learning and fulfilling experience.
- Have you had to face any challenges in your career to get to where you are today?
Indeed. And “choosing” a challenge is a habit of mine. Though the biggest lesson I learned is that you have to take advantage of a challenging experience and turn it into skills and knowledge. This is what makes the industry so interesting.
- In regards to hospitality, where do you think Greece needs to improve the most?
We have a great base. Amazing islands and landscapes, unique products and experiences. Destination-wise you get to see everything, from a unique boutique property, to a 5-star breathtaking resort, and even small family run businesses. All the above have their improvement points, yes. Though what I believe is most important is education in Tourism, Services, Product & Experiences. That is where I would focus the most, as the human factor is the one that matters most in the leisure business.
- 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?)
We have many secret “jewels” in Greece. What matters the most is their sustainable development by using best practices and avoiding mistakes. Chios is my birthplace and a destination that I would love to see grow is such a manner.
- What is your favorite destination in Greece and why?
One of the places is definitely Meteora, Kalampaka. The scenery and nature are unique and after many visits, I still find everything stunning. Nevertheless, it is difficult to exclude all the other unique destinations that also create similar emotions. The list in Greece is big.
- If you could pass on a message to the hospitality industry about Greece, what would it be?
My message to individuals and professionals is for them to have a constant learning and experimentation attitude. Keep what best fits you and refrain from past mistakes.
- What are your plans for the future?
My current role focuses on maximizing hotel revenues. This requires to maintain a broad perspective in order for your partners to have results and value your consultation. So continuous learning is definitely in my plans.
- If you didn’t work in the hospitality industry where would you be?
Though I have developed my career in tourism, my motivation lies in helping others. And tourism gives a great opportunity to do so, and provides many different fields, such as education.
Connect with Yannis Syrakis on LinkedIn