The current political crisis in the U.K.is a stark reminder of what Greeks had to endure economically a few years ago. Did the sky fall on Greece or did one of the top luxury destinations survive the economic carnage?
For all things Greece, we turned to our good friend and expert in the region, Thanos Liontos. He was generous enough to share his thoughts and opinions for the current situation on the ground:
TheTopTier: Hello Thanos and thank you for taking time out of your schedule to answer a few questions for our readers. It has been a while since we last spoke. Can you give us a quick update on the luxury travel business in Greece? Have things returned to post-crisis levels?
Thanos Liontos: We have been experiencing the usual slow-down during the winter however the market has picked up strongly starting May. What is interesting to note, however, is that the market has shown its strongest upward motion compared to the years before. This is
supporting the sentiment that things are now going to post-crisis levels.
TTT: BREXIT is an important issue to all countries in the EU. Can you share any thoughts on the UK succession situation? How do you think this will affect travel in Greece?
TL: It is a little premature to discuss how that will unfold seeing as the regulations are not set yet however one thing is certain: Greece was a very popular travel destination because of its beauty, climate, food, hospitality and history. It still has all of those factors. In any time of uncertainty, a nation will slow all its activities until things stabilize again, so I don’t expect there will be as many tourists from the UK as before just for now. The UK Pound has taken a fall however we have seen in examples such as Iceland, things can turn around surprisingly quickly and perhaps even be stronger than before. So in the short term, things might be wavering for a while. I believe the long term picture will hopefully be a much more positive one.
TTT: The luxury industry seems to be at a crossroads when it comes to marketing. What do you think about mobile apps and their role in the luxury travel business?
TL: I think that technology has been making everything much faster and easier for all of us in every area of our lives. However, in our quest for the ‘Right here, and right now,’ we have totally lost the human touch and even our emails are being answered by robots. This is why I fully support new approaches like IMMIDIA that are able to incorporate the speed and efficiency of apps whilst having a professional team of actual people providing human support where it is needed. I think that one of the most important elements that defines the word ‘luxury’ is ensuring all needs are met and this cannot be done with only an app, no matter how well designed it is. Human interaction is vital if you are to provide luxury services for travel. IMMIDIA ensures the quality control is done and the products and services are delivered at the highest levels of professionalism.
This is a model that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world and it is exactly the type of thing I can present to my clients without hesitation and know they are served well wherever they are in the world.
TTT: Can you elaborate on the way IMMIDIA provides on demand luxury services? Who would benefit most from this type of service?
TL: IMMIDIA on one side is a button on your phone. However, this button is a simple click that unlocks the door to booking luxury cars, yachts, private jets and short term accommodation. All these services have strong foundations of support by a fully equipped, highly trained team in the Guest Management Office that ensures all is of utmost speed and quality and steps in with the human touch if need be.
The IMMIDIA client is one who travels extensively and wishes to be able to book anything required online on a network that is constantly expanding. The IMMIDIA client values speed, efficiency and ease of use but also wants to make sure that quality control and the human touch are an essential part of this service.
TTT: Are there any plans to expand services and experiences through IMMIDIA? What are some things affluent travelers can expect in the future from an app like this?
TL:. IMMIDIA is very careful with who their business partners are and only joins forces with companies and partners that share the same values of quality and service. This is actually very much in line with the way I personally choose to do my business so I was very excited to be joining forces with a company that is so closely aligned to my vision. IMMIDIA is expanding quickly but with much attention to whom the expansion is taking place with. The pioneering approach of IMMIDIA will always be nurtured and reflected in all of its steps forward so it will continue to grow in terms of reach as well as services. So we say watch this space.
I will only insist on the fact that IMMIDIA sources its forces from the mutual competences of its network, the fact that every company joining IMMIDIA is bringing a knowledge, a very special touch, raising up the sense that luxury has to be handcrafted to be accurate and efficient even when it comes to technology.
TTT: This has all been very enlightening. Greece is still one of the top in demand luxury destinations and it is great to see a recovery for the market and its providers. IMMIDIA sounds like a new frontier for luxury as on demand services for elite clients is the wave of the future. Please keep us posted on updates on this unique ventures. Thank you again Thanos and we wish you the very best!
By Doron Levy Courtesy TheTopTier Digital Media