Welcome to Passion for Hospitality
Meet the person behind Passion for Hospitality…
Hi I’m Elena and welcome to my blog!
I was born in Russia and have been living in Greece for the past 25 years! When I am not on the road, the Athenian Riviera is still pretty much my base. In case you didn’t know Athens has one of the best rivieras in the world.
From a young age I wanted to study Hotel Management because having an office job did not appeal to me. I remember telling my friends that I wanted to be around people and to be able to travel. Initially my parents wanted me to study shipping, but I insisted that tourism was more my thing. After completing my Swiss Diploma in Hotel Management, I was excited to enter the world of hospitality.
I started working in 5 star hotels at the age of 18 and continued climbing the career ladder until I was 29. Over the years I had the opportunity to work for top Greek luxury hotel brands managing business development and foreign market opportunities in lucrative markets including Russia.
At 24 I was offered the opportunity to continue my studies and enrolled on a part time Master’s programme in International Hospitality and Tourism Leadership from the University of Wales which I completed at Alpine Centre, where I held the position of Director of Admissions and Career & Placement for four years. This was my last job working for someone else.
At the end of 2012, I decided that the time has come for me to follow my creative passions. I quit my job, said goodbye to my title and followed my calling to become an entrepreneur. I didn’t have a concrete plan, but I knew what I wanted — to be able to run my business from anywhere in the world. Almost five years later, although it has been nothing but easy, I can say that it has been the best decision of my life.
FROM HOTEL MARKETING TO TRAVEL BLOGGING
In fact I have never left the hospitality industry. Today, instead of working for a Marketing Department of a hotel, I work on marketing my own brand. The truth is I wear many hats — writing, photographing, promoting, managing and being creative.
Today, I run a few travel blogs, one of them is the one you are reading now. Apart from publishing my personal blogs, I also run a boutique marketing & blogging agency Blog Smart Agency.
In 2013, on a flight back to Athens from New York where I went to celebrate my 30th birthday, I had an idea — which marked the beginning of the “Passion for…” destination blogs.
I am also co-founder of the first travel bloggers network in Greece — Travel Bloggers Greece
SPEAKING AT CONFERENCES AROUND THE WORLD
April 2016 – Keynote speaker at the 2nd International Health Tourism Convention held in Athens
May 2016 – Master of Ceremonies at the ILHA’s first European Luxury Hospitality Summit held in Athens where I also facilitated the discussion on two panel sessions.
October 2016 – Keynote speaker at the second Dubai Health Regulation & Medical Tourism Conference and 11th World Health Tourism Congress, organized by the Dubai Health Authority
February 2017 — Keynote speaker at the Health in Greece Convention held in Athens
February 2017 — Keynote speaker at the Global Healthcare Travel Forum held in Amman, Jordan
Random facts about me
- I have the same birthday as Pablo Picasso — 25th of October.
- I love art and used to pain frequently when in high school, unfortunately I don’t have time for that anymore — too busy traveling and writing blog posts.
- I love hotels, always have and always will. I love discovering the attention to detail, the amenities and the F&B outlets. I am a hotelier at heart and love hanging out with people from the hospitality industry. We speak the same language. Have been to some unique properties around the world. Waldorf Astoria in New York is on top of the list of my favourite stays.
- New York is my favourite city in the world and so is Dubai, then there is London, and so on!
- Give me coffee and Wi-Fi and I am happy. Oh and I love wine too, and bubbly!
- Love big bathtubs and bubble baths, especially in hotels.
- Love Asian hotel chains and hospitality.
- Dream trip — visiting Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
- Scared of heights but occasionally I will go up to the tallest building in the world and do some rooftop hiking.
- I am happiest eating delicious food and drinking wine with friends, talking about trips and planning for the next ones.
- My motto — take every chance, drop every fear.
Want to ask me about Greece, hotels, travel and more. Go ahead leave a comment or send me an email. I will be happy to help.