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How vision becomes reality?

A few days ago, as I was looking for a file in my computer, I came across a photo which took me back 10 years. A time when I was young, daring, ignorant of the risks involved and with only my instinct and love as guides, risked entering into the Tourism Industry as a young hotelier.

Sadly, success did not come. For many years I had been wondering what it was that had gone wrong and I couldn’t figure it out. I was looking for the missing element that cost my success. My next business activities, all relevant to Tourism, in combination with my quest of the ‘missing element’ brought me in front of the solution of that mystery which was so simple whatsoever: neither the finances nor the limited personnel were it. In fact, the problem was that there was no one standing by my side, empathize with my concerns, assist me in realizing where I want to go and how to accomplish it.

My plans and vision were getting lost in my daily business routine and I was just struggling to organize the cleaning or the breakfast buffet.

This very need of mine was that led me to the decision to start playing myself that role of the so called ‘Consultant’ next to the hoteliers of small accommodation units who reminded me of that young girl of my past years, feeling how different the fate of one business could be when it is orchestrated by a strategic plan.

In the years that followed leading to the present day, my meetings with the hoteliers presented me with numerous and different cases. People with knowledge but no time, ones with total lack of basic information but with restless will for work, others referred to as the ‘know-it-alls’ – a prominent characteristic of our people- and those who eagerly ask and receive assistance from external sources.

Almost every time the same question arose and still does: ‘Why should we work together?’, ‘How will you help and what do you have to offer?’.

Small units not having the ability to employ qualified employees in the sales, marketing, service and so on departments are operated by one central “server”, their owners’ mind. Thus, it seems absolutely logical that every hotelier of a small unit needs a person for all the issues that concern him/her, someone efficient with whom the discussion can lead to solutions and progress.

To begin with, this person acts as a consultant offering ideas, proposals and solutions which will right all the wrongs and develop the business. The knowledge and information combined with the assessment of each business will bring new tools which the businessman all he/she has to do is give them a go.

However, before that, the Consultant as a multitasker that he/she is will make sure to approach the businessman, act as a coach, listen to his/her plans and dreams, share his/her goals even if he/she hasn’t figured them out himself.

It is common for the Consultant to become aware of some private factors that form each business as he/she as a third person will try to elicit any deeper issues, for example the influence of the family and close relatives that can affect the regular operation of the business.

The answer to the common comment “you consultants ought to be realistic” is one: the ideal consultant comes from a relevant workplace, has dealt with the same issues, has faced the same concerns, has paid and been rewarded. He/she advises based on his/her own experience.

Coming to the present day, having entered, somehow forced to do so, the New World Order, the Consultant belongs to the ‘Holy Trinity’ of the accommodation unit, together with the accountant and lawyer constitute the main toolbox and can safely lead a small unit to the new era of Tourism.

Angeliki Vogdanou

Hospitality Consultant – Travel Planner, Head of Tourism Dept of Institute of the Mediterranean Culture, Co-owner Open Office Volos, Bliss Travel Partner.

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