Prior to entering the travel industry, Maria Adamopoulou spent her early career working in the banking sector, in the Foreign Trade department of the Bank of Central Greece for 13 years, before becoming Executive Secretary to the President & CEO and Head of Public Relations. Throughout this time her relationship with the bank’s clients helped develop an affinity for customer experience - so when she retired and moved into hosting guests at The Adam’s Studio in April 2018, the transition was practically seamless.
Click.: What were the key moments in your career that defined your position now?Adamopoulou: I always liked the idea of being involved in the travel industry but my job at the bank was a ‘safe harbour’. Nevertheless, in the past few years, my husband and I moved into our country house and I soon realised that I could seize the opportunity to become an international host. Our house is abundant in space, therefore I figured that isolating the upper floor would provide us with the studio that we needed in order to start hosting. This ignited the idea that led to The Adam’s Studio in Oropos.
Click.: What have been your major successes? Adamopoulou: Once the hosting idea struck me, one of the difficulties I had was to convince my husband to give it a try. Although he was not positive in the beginning, I finally managed to help him realise my vision. That was a relief for me and it felt like nothing could stop me from making it a reality. That was my first success! Nobody believed that any guest would come to our property, since our location is not in a tourist area. After a few weeks my first guest finally arrived - wow, hosting had just started.
Click.: What have been the challenges and how did you learn from them? Adamopoulou: Our country house in Oropos was not initially built for accommodation. It was a challenge for us to make the changes so that guests could feel at home and for us to be comfortable in our residence. Moreover, I had to take extra courses from my son to learn how to delve into recent internet applications and features to get up to speed. Hosting guests from abroad was also a big challenge for me, since it is not always easy to understand every culture’s customs or peoples’ way of thinking. However, despite my lack of experience, I succeeded in pleasing all of them and making their stay unforgettable.
Click.: What do you wish you’d known at the start of your career? Adamopoulou: Thanks to detailed guidelines from Booking.com I had no serious issues. Nevertheless, each day all kind of unknown different situations arose, but the Partner Help Centre and Forum have helped answer most of my questions and I am able to address anything that occurs. Partners are very willing to help other partners and share their professional experiences.
Click.: What has been the most surprising moment of your career? Adamopoulou: Finding out that I was among the Guest Review Award 2018 winners. I was thrilled - I did not believe it was true. The Adam’s Studio House was rated with the excellent review score of 9.7. This was a major surprise, in addition to many others from reviews and complimentary comments from my guests.
Click.: Did you have anyone that mentored or inspired you? Adamopoulou: Being raised by two beautiful, loving and hospitable parents, I realised that the most important thing in the world is family and love. My family’s main concern when we had friends and relatives visiting had always been how to please them and make them feel at home. As a married couple we have never stopped having friends in our house from all over the world. People might forget what you have said or done, but they will never forget how you made them feel. Living our lives to the maximum has been an inspiration for me.
Click.: What one piece of advice would you have for someone starting out in the travel industry? Adamopoulou: Not only in the travel industry but in whatever you do in life, you have to put your heart, mind and soul into it. Be happy and positive all the time.
- Maria Adamopoulou owns The Adam’s Studio, a country house accommodation situated in Oropos, Greece
- She started her career in the banking sector, in various roles with the Bank of Central Greece, before entering the travel industry in April 2018
- The property won a 2018 Guest Review Award with an impressive score of 9.7