The further success of Greece’s tourism product hinges on its human resources making upskilling, education and training key factors for travel and tourism enterprises, said President and Founder of hotel asset solution provider HotelBrain, Panos Paleologos, during the 7th Delphi Economic Forum in Delphi last week.
Speaking during a panel discussion on “Improving Education, Skills and Employment in Tourism”, together with Deputy Tourism Minister Sofia Zacharaki and Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (HCH) President Alexandros Vassilikos, Paleologos underlined the importance of a tourism model that is people-centered.
“We all know that investments in Greek hotels have received a lot of attention in recent years. But what we need to understand is that hotels have a significant difference from any other properties: their added value is assessed based on their human dynamic,” he said.
Paleologos went on to add that it was finally becoming clearer to tourism stakeholders that education and training were crucial if Greece wants to maintain its leading position on the global tourism market.
He then highlighted the rewarding experience of working in tourism: “I want to tell young people that the reward you get by offering joy through working in tourism is a great gift. You give joy and you get it back. This immediacy does not exist in any other sector.”
Paleologos said that it was a matter of realizing the leading role Greece can play in tourism. “Greece is a superpower in terms of tourism and all we have to do is understand it,” he said.
“We need to realize that human resources give added value, increase the income of hotel companies and therefore of the state. If we understand that we must all invest in it, the private sector, employees and the state, then miracles will happen.”
On her part, Zacharaki, who is spearheading the tourism ministry’s efforts to upgrade education, said Greece had already received guidance by the European Commission in order to set up a tourism academy. She went on to add however that at the same time, improving education on offer was a key priority which must now start from high school level.