The two male college students in Indiana claim the act was discriminatory.
Anastasios Korovesis, managing director of Limotours Hellas SA, knows leisure travelers visiting the area want to experience the culture in the most authentic way possible. It’s his duty to ensure his chauffeurs, office staff, and vehicles live up to client expectations and make them feel at home.
Passionate Chauffeurs Make The Company
Ensuring your chauffeurs are happy and healthy is the most important part of running a luxury transportation business, Korovesis says. They are very carefully selected, since they are moving advertisements for the company. All are Greek citizens, well educated, fluent in English, and have something exceptional and aristocratic in their personalities.
“They all have a love for Greek culture, cars, and of course, driving. They also have an excellent knowledge of the city,” Korovesis says. The company conducts background checks for the social behavior and criminal records of every applicant. Limotours has four points it makes sure every chauffeur understands to enhance every client’s expierence and maintain their supreme level of service:
Korovesis is good friends with Bruce Heinrich, founder of PAX Chauffeur Training in Kansas City, Mo. Limotours was among the first companies in Europe to acquire the system, which has produced stellar results.
Location: Athens, Greece
Owner: Dimitrios and Anastasios Korovesis
Year Founded: 1929
Vehicle Type: S-Class, V-Class, Viano, E-Class
Fleet Size: 11
Number of Employees: 8
Phone: +30 210 9220333 (office)
“My chauffeurs love the clear procedures and the diploma they receive at the end.” Perhaps the most vital wisdom Korovesis imparts to his chauffeurs is something his father told him: “Politeness goes far, yet costs nothing.”
Seeing Through Tourists’ Eyes
In looking at differences between the U.S. and Greece, Korovesis says he sees a lot more tourism and leisure travelers than corporate. This means clients are often there to experi ence the culture of the area, so he must ensure their trip is memorable.
“My grandfather used to say, ‘there is one secret of success: It lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that angle as well as from your own.’ I try to understand what tourists see different that I may be overlooking due to my familiarity with the artifacts, historical sites, and architecture,” he explains.
He encourages his chauffeurs to “see through the eyes of the traveler” to help clients feel they get what they paid for and more. “We are like the ambassadors of the country; we represent Greece, so we need to know as much and be as welcoming as possible.”
“We bought new, less expensive cars and made more affiliation partnerships with travel agencies, hotels, and international limo operators. We maintained the level of service, but sold less expensive vehicles so we could lower the price and not cannibalize our product.”
A Business With History
When Limotours Hellas SA, a family owned company, was founded in 1929, Korovesis’ grandfather was chosen by the royal family of Greece to transport palace guests. The rural country had suffered from many wars, leaving the roads unpaved and full of thieves. His grandfather had to learn how to avoid obstacles and ambushes. He was also among the first founders of the Hellenic Touristic Car Service Association (HTCSA), which was established the same year. After many years of turbulence in Greek history, Limotours managed to stay alive.
In 1980, Dimitrios, Korovesis’ father, returned to Greece after receiving his MBA from Wagner College in Long Island, N.Y., and applied his knowledge to the family business. His effort to bridge old ideas with fresh and innovative ones was followed by his election as president of the HTCSA, a position he still holds today. He advanced and expanded the business to become the number one limo company in Greece. “My father believed every company’s greatest asset is its customers; because without them, there is no company,” Korovesis says.
Meeting Needs With Tech
Korovesis has created an app called TourDriver (tourdriver.com) that will enable travelers to find private chauffeured tours on or near demand. The user will be able to select a chauffeur by rating, reviews, language, or personal characteristics. It’s been in development for three years, and he got the idea after he attended his first LCT East Show in 2013. It’s now in beta and he hopes to start marketing it at the 2018 International LCT Show.
“Hospitality is in the DNA of the Greeks. Tourism is an important asset for the Greek economy and accounts for about 18% of Greece’s GDP. 90% of our chauffeured business relies on leisure travelers, whereas in the US 95% relies on corporate travel. I figured this was an opportunity to create something that would allow travelers around the world to search through their mobile devices for a chauffeur who suits their needs, call him, and pay him through his smart device.”
The app also allows for chauffeurs to set their own rates. “If they are busy, they can raise the rate. If not, they can lower it. It’s up to them.”
Limotours also just won the prestigious SIGNUM VIRTUTIS (seal of excellence) award during the 2017 Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Award ceremony at the Ecali Club in Athens. Known as the “Oscars of Luxury,” recipients are companies and brands that represent the pinnacle of luxury, hospitality, and lifestyle.
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