Tourism of Tomorrow 2019 - Speaker Bios
Sarah departed Irish shores in May 2005 having spent seven years in Hotel operations. She joined the HotelBenchmark team at Deloitte in London as a Business Development Executive and as the team re-structured came to manage a number of key international clients in the Account Management team. STR Global was formed in March 2008 following the merger of the HotelBenchmark team with The Bench and Smith Travel Research. In March 2016, the international family of companies united under one brand: STR. As Director of Client Relationships, Sarah regularly attends and presents at hotel group and industry events. She holds an Honours Degree in Translation (German & Spanish) from Dublin City University.
Konstantinos Deriziotis got his degree in Business Administration from ASOEE, while working as a journalist.
He has worked with significant media outlets as a financial and parliamentary editor (ΕΞΠΡΕΣ, ΚΕΡ∆ΟΣ, ΚΥΡΙΑΚΑΤΙΚΗ ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΟΤΥΠΙΑ, ΟΙΚΟΝΟΜΙΚΟΣ ΤΑΧΥ∆ΡΟΜΟΣ, ΚΕΦΑΛΑΙΟ, ΕΡΤ, MEGA, Α∆ΕΣΜΕΥΤΟΣ ΤΥΠΟΣ, among others), as well as a press advisor for GNTO, the Derivatives Exchange, etc..)
In 1991 he was honored with the European Media Award by the European Foundation for Quality Management.
In 1995 he founded and has since been managing KSD Business Solution, which began with the sole purpose of publishing the monthly magazine "Money & Tourism" and has later invested and expanded its activity in the fields of advertising, graphic arts, creative, communication, exhibition constructions and events. It is the only magazine for the tourism sector in Greece, alongside its successful money-tourism.gr dedicated news portal.
Konstantinos is a member of the Board of Directors of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, currently in his second term, also actively involved with industry bodies such as SETE, HAPCO, the Hellenic-Russian Chamber of Commerce, and others), and is a member of the Hellenic Union of Editors of Periodical Press, and the international press associations FAEP and FIPP.
For two consecutive years, both in 2016 and 2017, he received the "Best Media Partner in Greece" award by the top Russian tour operator TEZ TOUR.
Last, but not least, he was also a finalist for the Quality Manager of the Year award by EDEE.
(in alphabetical order)
An accomplished communication and media professional with more than 12 years’ experience in the tourism and hospitality sector. Georgia Dodou presents a proven track record with one of Europe’s leading hotel groups, Sani-Ikos, where currently as PR Manager for Greece. Main work tasks is to execute all the communications programs, internal or external, that are effectively described by the Brand Strategy Director and CSMO’s, strategic plan and guidelines. Over the job description is to support marketing and promotional functions as set by the Marketing Dpt.
Gregory Maliassas is the Senior Vice President Operations for the Luxury Brands of Accor Hotels in Central & Eastern Europe, Benelux and Switzerland and is in charge of a portfolio of over 45 Hotels. The luxury world of Accor entails brands such as Raffles, Orient Express, Fairmont, Sofitel, SO, MGallery, Pullman, Mövenpick and Swissotel. He has been managing and developing upper upscale and luxury hotels in Europe, North America and the Middle East for over 20 years while holding positions such as Vice President North, Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Senior Vice President Middle East, Africa and Indian Ocean for Sofitel Hotels & Resorts. He was instrumental in dozens of hotel openings, renovations and hotel constructions, working together with the most renowned hotel developers, designers and architects. Prior to that, Maliassas has held several senior operational roles in Germany, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Dubai as well as Athens, Greece. Gregory Maliassas holds a degree in International Hotel Management from Les Roches, Switzerland and a Postgraduate degree from the University of Surrey, UK and speaks 5 languages fluently.
Entrepreneurship, travel and an intrinsic, inquisitive nature have always been the pillars of Sofia’s extensive career history. To start, Sofia earned a leading role as a broadcast journalist breaking news stories in Japan, Greece and the UK. Working with some of the biggest media outlets in the world, including REUTERS, BBC and NHK to name a few, Sofia managed her position both in front and behind the camera for over a decade. During this time, she also coordinated the international broadcasting of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games in HD.
From there, Sofia set up NEEDaFIXER using her first-hand knowledge of the media industry. To this day, NEEDaFIXER produces more than 300 different films, documentaries, television shows and commercials annually.
In addition to her media background, Sofia chaired the European Travel Commission in Asia for three years, overseeing the marketing campaigns of 28 European countries. Afterwards, she spent seven years as the Head of the Greek National Tourism Organisation in Japan and the UK.
Capitalising on her love of travel, Sofia then established PR MEDIACO, a leading UK-based travel PR and communications agency specialising in destination branding and marketing. As the Director and Head of PR and Communications of PR MEDIACO, Sofia continues to produce consistent results for tourism boards, hotels, travel leisure parks and consumer brands worldwide.
Educated in the universities of Athens (Greece), Leuven (Belgium) and Nagoya (Japan), Sofia holds a Master’s Degree on International Development.
With five languages in the bank (English, Greek, Japanese, French and Italian), Sofia is a regular speaker at travel trade exhibitions, international conferences and UNWTO meetings across the globe.
Katerina Pollatou started her career in the Market Research and Advertising/Media sectors in multinational companies in Greece and moved to the Aviation industry as Head, Market Research at Athens International Airport. With more than 20 years of specialisation in the aviation industry, she has been involved in the fields of Market Intelligence and Airline Marketing & Development, holding the respective managerial positions at Athens International Airport. During her career, she dealt with many strategic fields of airport management such as market research and traffic forecasting, aeronautical strategy, airport and destination marketing, airline communication and others. In October 2017, she was appointed as Manager, Airline Marketing and Development at Fraport Greece being responsible for the development of the traffic and the promotion of the 14 regional airports and the destinations served to the global aviation and tourism industry. Katerina Pollatou completed her studies at Athens Economic University and she holds a double major in Management and Marketing from the same university.
Haridimos Siganos is the Founder and Executive Director of Zeus International company. He has approximately 20 years of experience in tourism, having worked in hotels and hotel chains in Greece and abroad, as well as in large hotel management companies. In 2014, he took the decision to use his experience in a project and he established Zeus International company, "a project for Greek tourism" as he usually refers. His postgraduate studies focus on the tourism development sector and has a Master's degree in Business Administration while he holds a degree in Chemical Engineering and a postgraduate degree in Biotechnology.
Alkiviadis Sotiriou is a seasoned professional in the hospitality industry, currently the General Manager of Makedonia Palace Hotel.
He has held various managerial positions at prominent hotels and resorts in Greece and the Balkans, among them Mareblue Hotels & Resorts, Sentido Hotels by Thomas Cook, Sheraton Sophia, and Athens Imperial Hotel.
He holds a degree from the Hotel Management School in Athens, and he has received a Management Diploma for Hospitality Executives from the Centre International De Glion in Switzerland.
George Spanos is the Vice-President of Domes Resorts, owning and managing company of the iconic Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection,the award-winning adults-only Domes Noruz Chania, Autograph Collection, the legendary Domes Miramare, a Luxury Collection Resort, Corfu and the brand new first family Casa Cookin Chania.
Domes Resorts is the fastest growing Greek brand in the high-end luxury segment. It is a multiawarded group of luxurious hotels thatinvests and focuses in innovation that addsdynamic and quality to destinations.
George Spanos’ vision is to continue expandingand creating unique hospitality properties thataim to promote Greece and its qualities. To support its human resources, to contribute tolocal communities and to minimize harmful environmental impact.
Mr Spanos is also the Secretary of the Lassithi Hotel Association.
During his distinguished career to date, Spanos has attained numerous professional awards.
He has attended the "Value Creation for owners and Directors" Programme at INSEAD and holds a Ph.D. and Doctor of Medicine degree.
Konstantinos Tornivoukas is a fourth generation in a long line of hoteliers who owned, among others, the legendary Mediterranean Palace in Thessaloniki which closed after the big earthquake of 1978.
His family is the oldest hotelier family in Greece with a tradition of almost a century.He studied Management (BSc) at Deree College in Athens graduating in 1984 with honors.He then worked under his father, George Tornivoukas, in a series of different positions for the families two hotels, City Hotel in Thessaloniki and Eagles Palace in Halkidiki.
In 1999 he took control of the company as CEO, steering it through a string of successes: the upgrade of City Hotel from a three to a four star hotel and the upgrade of Eagles Palace from a four to a five star hotel, as well as the wide recognition of Eagles Palace as a member of Small and Luxury Hotels of the World and the 5Star Diamond Awards. He also managed to turn high revenues and profits for both hotels, with Eagles Palace currently ranking as one of the most profitable hotel businesses in Greece.
In 2009, he added the boutique hotel The Excelsior in Thessaloniki to his chain, now branded as Tor Hotel Group. The Excelsior is currently ranked the highest city property in hotel satisfaction for the whole of Greece per Tripadvisor statistics.
In 2017, he opened the newest member of the chain, Eagles Villas, an all42villa property offering luxury accommodation in Ouranoupolis, next door to Eagles Palace, thus creating a large and more complete hospitality product, Eagles Resort.
In 2018, he acquired, along with Grivalia Hospitality, the historical building of Olympos Naousa on the promenade of Thessaloniki and started developing it into a new hotel and restaurant product that will be managed under Tor Hotel Group. The legendary Olympos Naoussa Restaurant and the new luxury boutique hotel that will operate in its beautiful building will open their doors in 2020.
In addition to running a successful company, Konstantinos Tornivoukas is one of the most esteemed and respected among hoteliers in Greece. He was elected numerous times in various positions important for Greek Tourism, such as Vice President of Halkidiki hotel association for 9 consecutive years, Member of SETE board of Directors, Member of the board of Hellenic Chamber of hotels and Vice president of Thessaloniki Hotel association.
Marios is a Principal in the Strategy & Operations Consulting practice of Deloitte Greece with focus on the Transportation, Hospitality & Services (THS) sector. He is a trained consultant (started with McKinsey) with strong commercial and operational work. His knowledge in the travel industry derives from both entrepreneurial and consulting experience, servicing large multinational co-operations and tourism boards. Marios is fluent in Greek, English and French and has working knowledge in Italian and Chinese (Mandarin).
Advisor to investor consortium comprised of 2 international tier-1 banks and 1 real estate investor. Coordinated due diligence advisors and valuators of one of the largest portfolios of distressed loans sold in Greece (to date). Formation of strategy for acquisition and exit, risk assessment of each case and possible mitigation actions
Supported Greek systemic bank price portfolio of 400 hotel collateralized distressed loans for sale (€500 million portfolio)
Overview of the Greek Hospitality sector and NPL market, and identification of relevant NPL opportunities, providing additional analysis and rationale, for a Tier-1 bank, based in London, UK.
Developed strategic options and roadmap on business transformation options for large OTA with presence in over 40 countries
Advisor to CXO level executives in travel and hospitality for business plans, operation transformation and growth
Supported first special liquidation process of 615 room hotel in Greece. Supervised all hotel operations, communicated with Tour Operators, conducted restructured business plan and managed all investor communications. Hotel sold at 63 million, from an initial estimate of 40 million.