First and foremost, I hope my letter finds you healthy and safe at the beginning of the new season.
It is a fact that our everyday life has gradually returned back to normal. There’s been much talk about the fight against the pandemic, though, the reality is this: our life has entered a restart phase. No one can deny that the road ahead, is still a long one, but thanks to science and its achievements, we can now hope that the period of great precariousness and insecurity has elapsed.
It is the first time since March 2020 that we have felt we can determine our future, and this is a victory! We hold the steering wheel in our hands, thus contributing individually or collectively on how fast we can claim what the pandemic has once taken from us.
Vaccination- and not the vaccine itself- is our weapon; a collective act of responsibility for the sake of life, health and economy. And although this might sound like a cliché, it is not the case for the Travel & Tourism industry in which we are so much involved. Indeed, no other business sector has been that heavily affected by the pandemic and no other business sector has had its advance so inextricably linked to the progress of the international vaccination program.
Mass vaccination remains today the most powerful method we have to reboot our sector. Now more than ever, organizations need to re-connect with the world of work, to have their people travel, and to get extroverted again, since extroversion leads to growth.
After the partial opening of the borders, 14 months ago, we made a promise: “You Can Count on Us”; and have done so in practice. Today, facing up the new needs that the business world commands, we have renewed our promise: We remain next to organizations and their people with the same commitment and care, offering travel solutions that are reliable and effective, and most importantly that offer a greater sense of security. Travel solutions that strengthen and foster organizations in fulfilling their mission. And this is our commitment.
Let’s fly together on this journey towards recovery.
CEO, Marine Tours Group of Companies
Mr. Alexopoulos has 25 years of experience in shipping, banking and maritime finance. He is a partner of Eurofin Group; a ship-financing boutique with offices in London, Athens, Singapore and Lausanne. He is the Managing Director of the Group’s Athens office and a key part of the Eurofin team, which acts as a Consultant to KfW IPEX-Bank for its Greek debt shipping portfolio. He is a teaching fellow at the ALBA Graduate Business School, specialising in Shipping Finance and Maritime Economics and acts as a Consultant on Shipping Finance to the World Maritime University, of the IMO, in Malmo, Sweden.
Dr. Christodoulou-Varotsi is a senior legal consultant (member of the Athens Bar Association) and industry trainer in private practice specialised in Maritime and EU law and policies. Visiting lecturer at ALBA Graduate Business School ACG. Highly experienced law drafter (Cypriot law). She provides specialized consulting services in the capacity of sub-contractor to the European Commission and EMSA. Projects with Lloyd’s Maritime Academy and DNV Maritime Academy Hellas (MLC 2006). Honorary Visiting Fellow, Institute of Maritime Law, University of Southampton. Author of five books with international publishers. Iliana holds all her degrees, including her PhD with the highest distinction, from the Faculty of Laws of Paris Sorbonne University. Additional exposure through post-doctoral research.
Mr. Teriakidis has completed studies of B.Eng. in Naval architecture at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne as well as of a M.Sc. at Strathclyde University of Glasgow. Upon completion of his studies, he joined DNV office of Dubai where we worked in various positions. In August 2008 he joined DNV Piraeus working in business development roles. Since June 2019, he is the Area Manager for Area East Med. And Black sea for DNV Maritime.
Mr. Tzevelekos is native Greek, born in Athens in 1969. He started his professional path with an apprenticeship at Lufthansa in Greece in 1992, in the faculty of Airline business administration. He has held various positions with the company ever since, including all management positions of the local sales organization. In 2017, he became the first non-expatriate General Manager of the company for Greece and Cyprus. In 2021, the responsibility of three additional markets in Balkan was also taken over.
Mr. Kartsimadakis, born in the renowned seafaring island of Chios, Greece, grew up in a seafaring family and graduated from the Merchant Marine Academy of Chios as an Engineer. He has served as Senior Engine Officer on oceangoing bulk carriers & diverse tanker vessels and was awarded an MSc with distinction in Maritime Management by the University of Aegean. He holds a Chief Engineer’s License following his service at sea. As of 2011, he has been serving in the Vetting Department of the Tsakos Group of Companies, being entrusted the senior role of Group’s Vetting & Inspections Manager as of 2016. In 2021 he joined INTERTANKO as Vetting Manager Secondee.
Mr. Jakobsen is one of the founders of Green-Jakobsen established in 2001. He is a facilitator/instructor, a trained mediator and a NLP Master Practitioner, authorized by the Danish Maritime Authority as Safety & Health Instructor and certified user of the Thomas PPA system. He is the Managing Director of Green-Jakobsen, Manila, Philippines. He is a certified Master Mariner and has working experience as a Crewing Manager and Nautical Superintendent. His core competencies cover Leadership learning and development, Marine HR and safety strategy development, Marine HR learning and development processes and competence management.
Mr. Jones spent a decade working as a navigation officer. He has a Chief Officer certificate and Masters degrees in Communications and International Relations. After working in a range of shore-based roles he founded the Seafarers Happiness Index to address the concerns of crew, ensuring the voice of those at sea is heard, and is proud to work with the MIssion to Seafarers in doing so. He is Past President of the Propeller Club Liverpool, an Associate Fellow of the Nautical Institute, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a Trustee of the Battle of the Atlantic Memorial.
Dr. Pyne is Principal Investigator for the EU Erasmus+ funded ‘SkillSea’ project; Future proof skills for the maritime transport sector. The SkillSea project aims to ensure that Europe’s maritime professionals possess key digital, green and soft management skills for the rapidly-changing maritime labour market. It seeks to not only produce a sustainable skills strategy, but also to increase the number of these professionals – enhancing the safety and efficiency of this vital sector. Liverpool John Moores University has been engaged in Maritime Education and Training since 1852. LOOM was established in 1998.
Mr. Oikonomou holds a long and holistic experience in the travel management industry from key positions as Budgeting, Supplier Negotiations, Sales and Marketing and since 2013 he is the CEO of the leading Travel Management Group in Greece, Marine Tours. His “can do” philosophy, crisis management skills, innovative thinking and clarity of vision have carried Marine Tours through extremely rapid and continuous growth. He is an expert in travel management strategy and cost optimization and a dynamic speaker at various conferences locally and internationally.
Dr. Progoulaki is an Adjunct Lecturer of Human Resources in Shipping in the MBA and MSc programmes at ALBA Graduate Business School. She is also Senior Consultant and the Regional Representative for Green-Jakobsen A/S in Greece and Cyprus. She has a long experience in consultancy, teaching and international research in Maritime Human Resources and Crew Management, Cross-Cultural Management in Shipping, interpersonal skills, and the implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC2006). Dr. Progoulaki combines an academic background in shipping, international research and teaching practice with professional experience and working in the international maritime context.