“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.
“Our industry is full of challenges which, if used properly, become opportunities. I am one of those people who goes to work every day and sets personal development goals…”
Born and raised in Athens in 1988, Alexandros has a master’s degree from Bolton University of England in the field of business administration. He dedicated his undergraduate research to the sustainable development of hotel businesses. Alexandros’ professional career began in 2006 in the field of sales and in 2015 he switched to the tourism industry. Having worked in front and back office departments and collaborated with industry professionals who helped him evolve, in 2019 Alexandros decided to expand his horizons and explore his possibilities. He then joined the rapidbounce family, initially working in the company’s reservations department. He was later promoted to the position of Digital Project & Hospitality Operations Manager. Alexandros states to be thankful to be part of a company that has no limits and restrictions as to what one can accomplish.
- What are the things you like best about your job and how would you describe your hospitality and tourism management philosophy?
Since 2006, when I had my first contact with providing services and then entered the field of hospitality, I realized that offering and responding to the needs of the guest is what fulfills me. The simple smile and “thank you” that I receive at the end of the day are what I like the most!
My philosophy concerning hospitality and tourism has the guests’ experience in its centre. Before anything else, I always think if the final products or services that I offer guests will exceed their expectations and are likely to contribute to making their stay even more unique.
- Have you had to face any challenges in your career to get to where you are today?
Our industry is full of challenges which, if used properly, become opportunities. I am one of those people who goes to work every day and sets personal development goals and to achieve them I always challenge my limits and push myself out of my comfort zone.
Every job that focuses on accommodating other people’s needs is full of challenges, as every individual is unique and during the day we can meet many different people with different behavioral elements. That’s the biggest challenge for us, as we in this industry should always treat customers with the same willingness throughout the day.
- In regards to hospitality, where do you think Greece needs to improve the most?
Greece is a blessed land full of beautiful places, thus we are privileged to be able to offer whatever one might be looking for. The same goes for the people here, always hospitable and willing to welcome any guest.
To my mind, here lies the part which needs improvement. There is a difference between the notion of hospitality and tourism education. I think we have a plethora of options for the visitor but our locations and hospitality norms alone are not enough to make us special. Tourism education is what we need to endorse and promote in our country so that we can reach the maximum of our potential, as well as the services provided.
- 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?)
Having travelled a lot, I can say that I have seen little in terms of the greatness of the beauty that our country has to offer. From mountainous places to endless beaches, whatever one’s choice the answer is Greece. But what I consider the biggest secret of our country are places that you have to look for to find them, our hidden gems. Places such as small villages in mountainous Greece where you can taste unique delicacies or secluded beaches in bays and islands that you will marvel at after a hike.
- What is your favorite destination and beach in Greece and why?
Born and raised in Athens, I was fortunate enough to have spent many of my childhood summers on Corfu, due to my mother’s origin of birth. I remember looking forward to when I would go and this passion and sense of anticipation continues even today. Maybe it is the carefree childhood moments or even the nostalgia of the years that have passed, but for me Corfu is the one place where I can relax, rejoice, fill with energy and rejuvenate. It is the architecture, the cuisine, the lush nature that comes a stone’s throw from the beach, the air and even the carefree attitude that natives are famous for that is the definition of where I want to spend every single summer of mine.
- If you could pass on a message to the hospitality industry about Greece, what would it be?
I consider sustainable development to be the greatest asset of our times and this is why companies and tourist-orientated businesses bear the responsibility to educate their employees about the practices of a more environmentally-friendly approach. This not only reminds us of our duty to respect the environment, but also sets new norms and ways through which the hospitality industry could function and thrive.
The results of establishing sustainable development practices will be visible not only through a corporation’s earnings but also through the improvement of the quality of the product itself and professionals will be able to take pride in the services they offer. In turn, recipients will be presented with services and products which they could never have anticipated and will value the offering and appreciate us, the givers, for familiarizing them with something they did not even know existed.
- What are your plans for the future?
I like to consider myself as a work-in-progress. I believe that without plans or goals we lose interest in what we do. My work is my passion and constant development is part of my plans for the future. My goal is to develop as a professional through my studies and work first and then evolve as a person through these experiences.
I want to be surrounded by talented people whose drive and ideas for the field fill me even more and I’m very happy to have achieved a part of my goals in rapidbounce. I’m hopeful that my personal development will add greater value to the company.
- If you didn’t work in the hospitality industry where would you be?
I think that the hospitality industry suits me perfectly because I respect what it stands for and I fully embrace it. But if I had no choice but to work in another area of interest, it would be that of culture or history as through it I could express myself and pass on my values and beliefs to the world.
Connect with Alexandros Roumpakis on LinkedIn