People: Maria Sifaki, E-Commerce Manager, Castello Hotels

P3_grey Instaclicks on your personal timeline go well beyond media, theme and any photo frame; it is all about people and their professionalism, moments and feelings, which turn the hourglass and, thus, provide time for many reflections. From previous poolside meetings and short encounters at the lobby to the continuity of communication. Because only a three-letter compound can make real difference: dis-tant but con-stant.

Eagerness should go hand in hand with knowledge in order for a cooperation to end up with success. And the interview with Maria Sifaki, E-Commerce Manager at Castello Hotels [www.castellohotels.com] has just begun. Today we co-travel, share and tag memories from the research of the past, the very essence of hospitality and the future plans enhanced with the experiential mapping of old and new destinations. Through these lenses, we found one more reason to discuss about the moments of Maria’s photography, filled with the colours of simplicity and the clarity of sentiments.

tvv: Born or become hospitable? | Γεννιέσαι ή γίνεσαι φιλόξενος;

M.S.: Greece is the synonym of hospitality and vice versa.  Born in such a place, it would be almost impossible not to inherit this virtue. Just like the rough diamond, in order to be unveiled, the virtue of hospitality needs to be processsed and adorned through education, experiences and character cultivation.

tvv: The most hospitable encounter experienced. | Ό,τι πιο φιλόξενο έζησα.

M.S.: In a trip of mine in Zurich, I lived a scenic story. As long as we checked-in, it was clear that there was a problem with the room temperature.  Heating had been working all time without stop and it was too hot inside the room. After calling the reception, they kindly answered that maintenance will be available next morning but the bellman would come to monitor the problem. A smiling bellboy of Indian origin just arrived but could not do anything but keep sweating. I asked him to tell the reception that we need to change room; full of smile, he replied to me “genau” (with the typical Indian accent) and left. After only a few minutes, they called me back from the reception to explain that troubleshooting would delay for a while; it was Christmas eve. And suddenly, we heard someone knocking on the door. The same person had already returned back to our room; he appeared to be delighted this time, holding two fans in his hands and saying: “Found the solution, you will be ok now!”

tvv: An outline of Greek voyager’s current identity. | Η ταυτότητα του σύγχρονου Έλληνα ταξιδευτή.

M.S.: It depends on the social and economic status. Due to the financial crisis, facing for a few years now, Greeks are not travelling to such an extent. However, I do firmly believe that one of our key characteristics is the lust for acquaintance with new places, cultures and people.  When the opportunity arises, we are doing the best we can. Complying, searching, learning, enjoying.

tvv: The performance of Greece on the world travel map. | Η πορεία της Ελλάδας στον παγκόσμιο ταξιδιωτικό χάρτη.

M.S.: Greece will always be a competitive destination.  It is a blessed place from east to west, from north to south. Voyagers can find what they are looking for – sea, sun, mountains, forests, lakes, rivers, history and entertainment. It is then our responsibility to score high in the service delivery, with fruitful partnerships and common views between state and all business involved.

tvv: Priceless travelling. | Η Ανεκτίμητη πλευρά του ταξιδεύειν.

M.S.: “Collect moments, not things”; this is a quote that best describes the value of travelling. Experiences, moments, various people, different ways of life. Eyes can’t help but see; souls filled with images. Travel breathes life into you, teaches you how to see the world differently and fight your battles, even if you are not realising it on that particular moment.

tvv: The “where” and “why” of travel directions to my Places. | Στους δικούς μου Προορισμούς, ένα «πού» και το «γιατί» που με οδήγησε εκεί.

M.S.: My top favourite destination is Paris. A childhood dream; I will always spot something new irrespective of the number of my returns back to this city. Scenic cafés, unique museums, nice people and amazing croissants. I really wonder why not to return there back again and again.

tvv: People who stood out as co-travellers. | Συνταξιδευτές που ξεχώρισα.

M.S.: Hitherto my travel path, I had the chance to meet different and distinguished people. People who followed and keep accompanying me; people who generously gave me knowledge, taught me and expressed full support – I thank them all.

tvv: Perspectives on my motivation. | Προοπτικές που με κινητοποιούν.

M.S.: What motivates me most? Technology, digital era, innovative ideas and open minds. And of course, people in our country envisioning “the top” and “the new”, against all odds.

tvv: Milestones along my way.  | Σταθμοί στη μέχρι σήμερα πορεία μου.

M.S.: It was mainly my father’s family business, industrial laundries, which brought me in direct contact with hotels and tourism from a very early age.  I studied tourism management at TEI of Thessaloniki and my pathway just started. I only left my hotel career for a few years. Although I decided to be actively involved in our family business in 1999, I grasped the chance in 2004 and returned back to the hotel sector. And then, I started from Galaxy Iraklio Hotel & Galaxy Villas as Rooms Division Manager and Sales Manager. I was then exposed to e-commerce and online sales in practice. As Rooms Division Manager in Atlantis Hotel, I worked at Aquila Hotels & Resorts; my career also progressed, when I further accumulated knowledge in digital marketing and experience in online sales, as Sales & E-Commerce Manager in Lato Boutique Hotel and Olive Green Hotel of Karatarakis Group. My new partnership started within the past few months, from the position of E-Commerce Manager at Castello Hotels. Turning a new page to experience new beginnings, new challenges, new people.

tvv: Little dreams for trips to come. | Μικρά όνειρα για τα ταξίδια που έρχονται.

M.S.: Good to make dreams. Cannot live without dreams. And make those dreams happen. More trips with my family, time with my beloved ones and many more photos.

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