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Interview – Photini Constantinou: ‘Modus & Amplio Offers a 360° Approach to Hoteliers’ Needs’

IKIES Santorini.

Despite the adverse circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic, Modus & Amplio, a Greek hospitality management and consulting company, is seeing a very successful year for most of its collaborating hotels.

“Most hotels in the Modus & Amplio portfolio have received increased earnings reaching close to 2019 figures,” says Photini Constantinou, the company’s Sales & Marketing consultant.

Speaking recently to GTP Headlines, Photini informs that the company has been quite busy this year, forming new collaborations and also offering a range of new services to hoteliers.

“We never sit still, which is the most interesting and creative part of our job… We are now in a position to offer our partner hotels the full scope of Sales & Marketing activities, offering them a 360° approach to their needs,” she says.

 

“It seems that we are now returning to normality and our usual back to business routine, and we are urging our partner hotels to do so too. We, at Modus & Amplio have always had a more humane approach, as we see our hotels and their employees as a whole, as people, not cases.”

 

The company’s most recent collaboration is the addition of The Koukaki Residence (Athens) to its portfolio. Under the agreement, Modus & Amplio, among other things, have rebranded the property; created a new name and logo; developed online/offline promotion activities on social media; and launched a new website.

Drawn to the hospitality industry from a young age, Photini was influenced by her father’s business activities in the Greek hotel market.

“I became truly fascinated by the glamorous world of hotels; the smiling faces, unique designs and aesthetics… all that comprises the truly magical world of hospitality,” she tells us.

In this interview, Photini introduces the new services provided by Modus & Amplio, reveals the company’s plans for 2022 and informs on how Modus & Amplio is coping in the post-Covid world.

  • GTP: Photini, please share some career highlights with our readers. What motivated you to get involved in the hospitality industry?

Photini Constantinou: I got involved in the world of tourism and hotels, back at the age of 12 years old, initially due to my father’s work, as he was one of the first professionals to introduce the American multinational chains, like Marriott, to the Greek hospitality industry. I accompanied him at various meetings and events, and I became truly fascinated by the glamorous world of hotels, smiling faces, unique designs and aesthetics, different gastronomies from countries all around the world and all that comprises the truly magical world of hospitality!
Highlights of my career have been the re-launching of the area of Porto Heli, from a forgotten declining destination of the 1970’s with a negative connotation, to a tourist ‘hot spot’ . With strategical sales & marketing efforts we managed to put it ‘back on the map’ as one of the most attractive MICE and leisure destinations. This was one of my personal career highlights, as it paved the way for many new investments that came along later on in the area.

The Lynx Mountain Resort, Florina.

The Lynx Mountain Resort, Florina.

Additionally, the launching of Semiramis Hotel, the first ever Design Hotel in the Athenian and Greek market is something I am proud of. The hotel featured a ‘provocative’ design and artwork that still turns heads. Via my position, as the Director of Sales & Marketing of the group, we managed to persuade and substantially ‘train’ the Greek market in the beauty of this ‘different’, brand-new type of hotel. We introduced a new type of accommodation and service, out of the ordinary, with a strong design character and an intense humane factor. Something that eventually became the norm for many hotels nowadays.
That was also the time when I personally met some very interesting people that would ‘mark’ my career and my way of thinking. Like Dakis Ioannou, a true pioneer of art and business, who could foresee the future developments of hospitality with the fresh mind of an adolescent. Karim Rashid, the amazing designer, and Takis Papaspyrou, one of the best General Managers I have ever cooperated with, with whom I would eventually collaborate again many years later, via my current position in Modus & Amplio.
Lastly, I could not leave out the personal satisfaction of having developed long lasting relations with several of my professional contacts throughout the years. Developing, from ‘clients’ to ‘friends’.

Poseidonion Grand Hotel, Spetses.

  • GTP: Considering that we are having this interview in the Covid-19 era and hospitality is one of the sectors still recovering, how would you say the year is ending for your partner hotels? Are the results optimistic?

Photini Constantinou: Despite the fact that the season began in great uncertainty and ambiguity due to Covid-19, it has eventually developed into a very successful year for most of our collaborating hotels. Most hotels in the Modus & Amplio portfolio have received increased earnings reaching close to 2019 figures, higher ADR than 2019 in most cases, and definitely a higher duration of stay.
We have achieved this via a wide range of proactive Sales & Marketing activities, by reaching out to new markets, creating a new market mix for our collaborating hotels, supporting digital marketing activities, being flexible with our booking and cancellation policies and proposing an ‘aggressive’ extrovert attitude for most of our hotels.

  • GTP: What has Modus & Amplio been up to lately? If I’m not mistaken, Modus & Amplio has new collaborations this year.

IVIS 4 Boutique Hotel & Restaurant, Athens.

Photini Constantinou: Yes! We never sit still, which is the most interesting and creative part of our job.
We had the opening of the exciting IVIS 4 Boutique Hotel & Restaurant, in July 2021, in the very center of Athens. The hotel has a unique design, a hot downtown location and an amazing restaurant curated by award winning chef Yiannis Lucacos. We also reopened IKIES Santorini, a luxurious boutique landmark hotel in Oia, which remained closed last year due to the pandemic. We took advantage of that period to expand its capacity and upgrade its services with the launching of brand-new suites and the amazing in room private dining service. We also had The Koukaki Residence enter our portfolio, and many more existing and new hotel collaborations in the fields of pre-opening, human resource support and sales support.

Monsieur Didot The Residence, Athens.

  • GTP: Let’s talk about the sales enhancement services you offer to your partner hotels. Can you provide some details on these services?

Photini Constantinou: We have partnered with Heart & Logic, a new company in the field of Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing and Web Development. We are now in a position to offer our partner hotels the full scope of Sales & Marketing activities, offering them a 360° approach to their needs.
From traditional ‘Hands-On’ Sales to On-Line Sales and OTA’s representation, Website Development, Social Media Marketing and Digital Marketing activities. These are some of the new services we offer, along with the traditional services offered by Modus & Amplio in the fields of Hotel Management & Operation.
We provide the full range of activities that a hospitality project requires. From Market Research and Competition Analysis, which leads to Correct Product & Concept development, Market Placement and Pricing. We support all the pre-opening activities and fully undertake the Sales & Marketing launch or re-branding needs of a hospitality project.
All this is carried out with the professionalism and vast experience that characterizes the Modus & Amplio team.

  • GTP: Regarding Greek tourism and taking under consideration that this season is considered much better than 2020 – but of course not as well as 2019 – what is your view for 2022? What feedback are you receiving from hoteliers?

Radisson Blu Park Hotel, Athens.

Photini Constantinou: The feedback we are receiving mainly from the markets and our collaborating hoteliers, is that of a very promising 2022. From Leisure to Corporate and MICE, all markets are eager to return to normality and are looking into an excellent season for 2022. We try to be realistic, providing results that will offer a win-win situation to both the hoteliers and our collaborating markets. We try to look ahead and provide 5-year development plans to our partner hotels not just ‘one’ good season.

  • GTP: Just how challenging has the pandemic been on your business in these times? And, as the crisis is not over yet how is Modus & Amplio preparing for a post-crisis world?

Photini Constantinou: It has been very challenging for both the psychological and the actual wellbeing of hoteliers and employees in the industry. Hoteliers were struggling to survive the crisis and we had to develop a substantial supportive role trying to keep them up to date with the constant changes and developments in the operation, taxation, and employment laws in Greece and Europe. However, we also developed a substantial psychological support for all our collaborating partner hotels and their employees, featuring a 24/7 service to support the various ‘crisis’ occurring every now and then.
It seems that we are now returning to normality and our usual back to business routine, and we are urging our partner hotels to do so too. We, at Modus & Amplio have always had a more humane approach, as we see our hotels and their employees as a whole, as people, not cases. We are happy that Covid-19 has forced many companies to review their operating procedures taking into consideration the human factor.
On a daily basis, as we are entering the post covid period, we too are facing the challenge of finding capable executives to man our projects, as a lot of employees seem to have switched industries. Through our trustworthy pool of hotel industry executives we support hoteliers during these challenging times with capable individuals. Additionally, we provide training schemes to our collaborating hotels (from sales to operation), preparing young individuals to undertake more demanding roles in the industry.

San Antonio Resort Corfu.

  • GTP: What’s next for Modus & Amplio? What are your future plans? Which destinations are you targeting next?

Photini Constantinou: We are at the process of opening five brand new hotels, in 2022 and 2023, in the areas of Kefalonia, Chios, Paros, Mykonos, and Vytina – Arcadia. We are trying to show the world that Greece is not only Mykonos and Santorini, and it is always positively challenging and creative for us, when we are asked to place other, lesser-known destinations, on the map.
We also have numerous Sales Support partnerships coming up with some very exclusive hotels which we will be in a position to announce at a later stage.

  • GTP: Do you have a message to Greek hoteliers reading this interview?

Photini Constantinou: Yes, my message would be for them to be supportive to one another. For them to view their hotel as part of a society and an eco-system. To merge forces together to promote and improve their destination as a whole, not just their properties. I’d like to tell them to not be afraid to ask for help when they do not know something and for them to listen to the experts. Also, it is important for them to give knowledge to the younger generation and give them space to develop.
From gastronomy to service, hoteliers should find the “authentic Greek experience” and offer it to their guests. This is what they came for in the first place!
If we all work together as a whole, Greece could become one of the top destinations worldwide for work nomads, second homes acquisition and rental, medical and athletic tourism and a strong MICE destination, thus providing a much needed all year-round season. This is what we advise our partner hotels to do so and try and put in practice at Modus & Amplio Hospitality.

* Photini Constantinou, is a Sales & Marketing Hospitality expert, who has worked for more than 20 years for branded hotels in Greece (Marriott, AKS Hotels, YES HOTELS Group, Pentelikon Group, CIVITEL Hotels & Resorts). She has a Master of Science in Tourism Μanagement and a B.S in Hotel Μanagement degree from the University of Surrey, UK. She was involved in many feasibility studies projecting revenue and sales statistics for Resorts and City hotels throughout the country. She is responsible for organizing and monitoring all Sales & Marketing departments of the hotels cooperating with Modus & Amplio, organizing all the promotional Sales & Marketing activities and for training the sales force of each property.

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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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