Dr. Zack Protogeros is one of the owners and a member of the founding team for Destination Greece. Dr. Protogeros has held the position of Marketing and Technology Director since 2000. Destination Greece is a US-based tour operator offering high-quality personalized services to clients visiting Greece, Egypt, Turkey and the Mediterranean with a local presence in Athens, Greece.
TRO: Destination Greece’s web presence started in 2000. In the past 11 years, how has Destination Greece molded its image as a leader in Mediterranean tourism?
ZP: With a lot of hard work, honesty and integrity in our business with travel agents and clients, consistency in providing high-quality personalized services, competitive rates and extensive use of new technologies. Above all, though, we made it our priority to first gain the trust of travel agents and their clients and to build the goodwill of our organization. In retrospect, we feel we made the right business decision. After all, the phrase “Your Trusted Experts to Greece” is a Destination Greece registered service mark.
TRO: Describe some of your most popular packages.
ZP: It is worth noting that all our online packages serve as frameworks for customization rather than fixed travel itineraries. We have observed that many requests are based on different variations on the themes Aegean Archipelago, Greek Isles Honeymoon and Aegean Sunshine
TRO: Destination Greece offers pre-set as well as custom packages. How do these options differ?
ZP: We believe flexibility and adaptability are indispensable qualities in our business. We therefore offer two options for our packages, namely pre-set packages or custom packages. By pre-set packages we mean our packages as they appear on our site. By custom packages we mean packages that are based on the original package frameworks but have been altered in ways to exactly match client requirements.
For example our online pre-set package options come with selected 3- or 4-star hotels. A custom package can be formed by quoting the same package in specific 5-star hotels the clients wish to stay at, or by adding in or taking out destinations from the itinerary. Clients may also change the number of overnights in each destination. Complete freedom to design dream packages, that’s what it is!
TRO: Many travelers wish to engage in a ‘local’ experience during their journeys. How does Destination Greece cater to this?
ZP: This is really a multi-facetted effort on our part. To start, Destination Greece representatives in the countries we serve are citizens of the countries in reference. For example, in Athens and on the islands clients are met by our Greek reps who know Greece as Greeks do. This is very important, as the Greek experience for our clients starts right at the airport, when they are welcomed by our people.
Our choices on typical tavernas serving Greek cuisine are hand-picked and unique. We know where the best places are in Athens, Delphi, Heraklion, Nauplion and elsewhere, for the very reason that we have a local presence in Greece. Should the clients ask for listening or dancing to live rebetika songs – a unique music genre in Greece, should they be interested in the best in wine tasting in Greece, should they wish to visit islands less travelled, we know how and where to guide them.
We know how to customize tours so as to enrich them with local color and flavor without resorting to package deals. Our hotel selections are finely balanced, so that they exhibit the local character of the destination without lacking in quality service, amenities or facilities offered.
TRO: As you know, relationships with travel agents are imperative to success for companies such as Destination Greece. How do you foster such relationships?
ZP: Clients we serve receive Destination Greece services through their travel agents. We value our business relationship with travel agents and we support their efforts in promoting the destinations we serve.
More specifically, we enhance and maintain a high level of 24/7 availability, promptness, expert feedback, consistency, punctuality and competitiveness. We are also a one-stop-shop for handling customer requests and packages (including FITs, groups, accommodations, transfers, cuises, and more). In addition we provide Destination Greece registered travel agents with personalized net rates and first news on upcoming specials.
TRO: What would you recommend for travel agents who wish to promote travel with your company to their clients?
ZP: We would suggest speaking with travel agents who have been using our services all these years. Travel agent references are our best credentials. Also, checking with Destination Greece before they present an itinerary and quotation to their clients, registering with Destination Greece in order to enjoy even better personalized rates and commission and taking advantage of our white branding program.
TRO: Are there any new developments for Destination Greece that you would like to share?
ZP: We are very excited with our latest offer to travel agents. It’s our new white branding program, namely the Travel Site Beneficiary (TSB) web presence, provided free of charge to qualified travel agents (please check http://www.Gate2Greece.com/demo for a sample). On such a site, travel agents have the opportunity to select any or all packages we offer to promote in their market, choose their mark up rates, choose their favorite site design, and use their own brand name and contact information for sales. Effectively, a travel agent has a new store front with rates, content and photos for packages to Greece (and soon to Egypt and Turkey) to share with their clients.
Travel agents wishing to learn more about Destination Greece should visit their site at http://www.destinationgreece.com/ or call their offices at 888-GREECE-8 (888-473-3238).