Operations

Greek Company Respects The Past With Authentic Experiences

Lexi Tucker
Posted on December 13, 2017

The full team at Limotours Hellas SA headquarters: (l to r) Sotirios P., Vicky M., Dimitrios C., Aggeliki K., Dimitrios F., Elina K., Dimitrios K., and Anastasios
The full team at Limotours Hellas SA headquarters: (l to r) Sotirios P., Vicky M., Dimitrios C., Aggeliki K., Dimitrios F., Elina K., Dimitrios K., and Anastasios
ATHENS — Greece is known throughout the world to be a country of unparalleled beauty and history. It is the birthplace of modern philosophy, the concept of democracy, and some of the most widely read literature, poetry, and plays. It’s only natural it would draw tourists in droves to walk (or in this case, drive) the same roads as Plato and Aristotle once did.

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:

  1. Take good care of yourself (health)
  2. Take care of the vehicle you drive
  3. Take care of the company you work for (in this case, Limotours)
  4. Take care of the affiliate company you may be representing

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.

Fast Facts

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

Website: www.limotours.gr

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.”

Anastasios Korovesis Sr. (Anastasios’ grandfather), founder of Limotours Hellas SA with a 1920s Cadillac.
Anastasios Korovesis Sr. (Anastasios’ grandfather), founder of Limotours Hellas SA with a 1920s Cadillac.
During the Greek economic crisis in 2009, many of their big clients limited budgets and diminished operations in Greece because of economic instability. Going against the climate, Korovesis expanded his business.

“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.

Anastasios Korovesis and Vicky Mouriadis at Zappeion, a building in the National Gardens of Athens generally used for meetings and ceremonies.
Anastasios Korovesis and Vicky Mouriadis at Zappeion, a building in the National Gardens of Athens generally used for meetings and ceremonies.
Since Korovesis grew up in the business, it’s always been his dream to follow his father and grandfather. “My mother and father used to work long hours, so I often spent time in the office behind the five-star hotels in the central plaza of Athens, the Syntagma Plaza. I learned to ride a bike on the terrace of our office.” He studied business administration with specialization in marketing management at The American College of Greece, as well as leadership and sales management at the Richmond International University of London.

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. 

Related Topics: affiliate networks, customer service, European operators, family businesses, Greece operators, international, international business, tourism

Lexi Tucker Associate Editor
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