“Hosting is sharing... Hosting is caring... Hosting is loving…”. M Adamopoulou on how to welcome fascinating guests, start new business and enjoy life.
Please welcome M Adamopoulou (joined the Partner Community 2 years 8 months ago) who shared with us her story about how she started her hospitality business, used Partner Community to learn more about the business, and how she welcomes amazing guests at her property in Oropos (Greece).
Please tell us a few words about how you started to run a property. What were you doing before? Why did you decide to start this business?
I have always been passionate about tourism around the world!!!
Travelling is my passion ... is my way of living ... My husband and I love to explore every little corner of our beautiful world ...
The Tourism industry has always been in the back of my mind!!!
Four years ago our friends invited us to spend the weekend with them in an accommodation they had booked through booking.com. It was a spectacular country house hidden in the woods surrounded by huge old orange trees, in a village outside Nafplion.
The idea of listing my holiday home on booking.com. ... hit me right away ...
I started my career in the Bank of Central Greece, in the Foreign Trade Department, and after thirteen (13) years I was assigned as Executive Secretary to the President and CEO of the Bank of Central Greece and Head of Public Relations Dept. I was responsible for understanding and supporting the clients, which has helped me to develop a natural hosting behavior for my guests. After 37 years of an amazing experience, I finally retired, and now my husband and I have settled down in our holiday home in Oropos, 50 km away from Athens.
What was the biggest challenge when you started? Were there any details of hosting that you hadn’t anticipated that you learned quickly?
Our holiday home in Oropos was not initially built for accommodation. It was a challenge for us to make the preferable changes so our guests could feel at home away from home and for us to be comfortable in our residence. Welcoming guests from many parts of the world with different cultures and attitudes was also a big challenge for me.
Beginnings are always the hardest, but thanks to Booking.com's detailed guidelines. I managed very well from the start.
Some guests don't reply to e-mail messages, but they are always on time!!!
When did you have this feeling: “I did it, my business is doing great!”? How many months (years?) did it take?
From the first year.. thanks to Booking.com.
None of my family or friends believed that guests would be interested in my property since we are up the hills hidden in the woods in a non-touristic area. That made me have very little expectations.
My first guests were a couple from Cote d’Azur, France, a cosmopolitan city. They were both working in the aviation sector!!! When they entered my studio they were both stunned by the view of the sea and mountains!!!
When you can please people that have traveled all over the world and have stayed in the best accommodations, I think you can say...I did it...
Booking.com has made my dream come true!!!
Were there any memorable, unexpected, or amusing moments since you became a partner that taught you something about being a host?
All of my guests were fascinating!!!
Each guest has been a new experience for me.
I had guests that brought with them seven (7) dogs without informing me.
I had families that brought me local products from their country.
I had families that invite us to join them in their holiday trips to the Greek islands.
I had couples that invite us in their yacht to sail with them in the Aegean sea.
I had families that they threw me a surprise party ... baked for me, the best chocolate cake I have ever eaten ...(the lady guest was a cook chef!!!)
Best of all my guests' children wanted to stay with me instead of staying with their parents.
With the above guests and many more, we have become friends and that's incredible!!!
Hosting is sharing... Hosting is caring... Hosting is loving…
All of my guests were perfect. It's hard to tell which one was the best. Different people. Different characters. Different cultures. Different ages. Different interests, but still so amazing!!!
A perfect guest is the one that respects you and your property and leaves you with memorable moments!!!
I see you are active in the Partner Community. What do you like most about it?
Being a newbie with no experience in the tourism industry, Partner Community has been a second school for me...
I can find almost any information I need just by searching around. There are so many helpful articles in the Community.
I like that many partners are willing to share their experiences, thoughts, anxieties and give me alternative suggestions to difficult situations that may arise.
What would you like to change in the Partner Community to make it better?
Many new partners get confused and think that the Partner Community is the Customer Service. Some partners have asked me many times if I am working for BDC!!! Maybe there should be a clear definition.
Partners ask the same questions over and over again. Maybe there should be an automatic banner and redirect partners to previous similar posts.
Most new partners do not edit their profile. Even though many other partners and I suggest they should edit their profile very few do. Since they are already partners, their profile should be edited by default.
I would like to see more posts that contain nice pictures.
This past year was hard for everyone, especially partners. But did you manage to get something positive out of this tough year? Were you able to tackle any projects that you had previously put off or that you think will help prepare you for a 2021 recovery? How did you spend time you would have otherwise devoted to your business?
This year I was a little more creative. I painted welcome signs using old wood that I found in the forest, I painted pebbles, I plant new flowers, I decorated little pots with lace, decorating my living room.
My granddaughter wanted to go with her two girlfriends and their mom for free camping in Evia Island. Since we had no reservations, we decided to go along. We went to a stunning sandy beach for ten days. The ultimate place to be free and relax.
We only live once, so we must do our best to enjoy ourselves even in difficult times!!!
What do you think the travel industry will look like in 2021? What trends do you see in the coming year?
Unfortunately, the pandemic will not be over, but as soon as the vaccination begins, people will be able to travel again looking for places to be safe enough.
Travelers will prefer to explore non-tourist destinations that make it easy to maintain social distance.
Nature lovers that love hiking, walking, bicycling will want to discover new destinations.
Domestic Tourism travelers will want to explore their region not very far from their homes.
Working at home away from home. Since many people are forced to work from home, they will want to find a safe place away from the hustle and bustle but yet near their home.
Cultural Tourism Travelers will be interested in exploring new open archaeological museums that can visit and still be safe.
Travelers may be seeking places that have local specialties.
Families will travel more by car to close and safe destinations.
The Adam’s Studio in Oropos...is exactly the place!!!
What would you like to wish to your fellow partners?
May Partners experience a wonderful, healthy, and prosperous New Year!!!
Our world is full of magic places waiting patiently for us to discover as soon as the time is right!!!