Getting to Know You: Costandinos Christofi
An exclusive interview, our Sales Manager, Costandinos shares with us tales of his past, insight into his present, and hopes for his future successes. And, of course, just why he is passionate about all things Columbia…
Tellus a little bit about yourself. I am Cypriot by heritage, and Canadian by birth –having been born and raised in Calgary –so I suppose you could say I’ve gotten the best of both worlds! My parents’ decision to move back to Cyprus was my initial incentive for returning. Now –however many years later –I have nurtured both my career and my personal life to a degree that I couldn’t possibly imagine leaving: Cyprus is home
As you’ve mentioned the development of your career, let’s go back to basics. What past experience supports you in your position today as Sales Manager? I first entered the hospitality industry at the age of 15, having worked in numerous restaurants from a young age. Soon after, I graduated to hotels and decided to commit my tertiary studies to delve into the depths and intricacies of hospitality management and marketing. Upon completion of my studies, I undertook front office roles across various hotels in western Cyprus, before settling for seven years in the sales department of a local Resort
So you were committed to a career in hospitality from a young age: what was the attraction of working within this environment? Without a doubt, it is the opportunity to work with people from all backgrounds. The sheer diversity of people I come into contact with is both exciting and a chance for me to access the world from a different angle, to garner varying views, and thus engender a more holistic understanding of things. Also, I very much appreciate the fact that no two days are ever the same: I like challenges because they keep me on my toes!
Talking of worldviews (and considering your connection with both Cyprus and Canada) how is hospitality approached differently on our little Mediterranean island compared to other nations? Certainly, the distinction between the more ‘Western’ mentality and the local mentality is pronounced. Hospitality is simply approached differently in Cyprus and allows for more individual expression of character.
When people speak reverently of Cyprus’ hospitality, it’s not overstated. Our clients genuinely feel more welcome here compared to other destinations, and I think it’s precisely because we don’t adopt a generic approach in interacting with them. We want to get to know them, and we give them the opportunity to get to know us.
And are your clients afforded the same luxury? Definitely! I am very much focused on nurturing personal, individual connections. My clients know that wherever they are in the world, whatever time it is, they can call me, or even visit me (and I’ll be sure to have some fresh halloumi and coffee at hand to treat them!)
I’m very happy to say that, I have established a very good rapport with my clients across all of Europe and the Middle East
You’re obviously passionate about your work! What was your inspiration for joining Columbia Beach Resorts’ family? Columbia Beach Resort is a holiday hideaway of sincerely unparalleled beauty. The traditional and locally inspired architecture, the vibrancy of the colours afforded by the crystal clear waters of it’s Blue Flag beach and lushly green rolling hills, and, of course, the tranquillity offered by the resort surroundings, really is inspiring of a serenity hard to come by elsewhere
And that’s without even considering the diversity that Columbia Beach Resort offers, being in such close proximity to the history and culture of both Paphos and Limassol. From the Ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite’s birthplace, to the ancient Roman city of Kourion overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, exploring the surrounding region of Columbia BeachResort offers unmatched access to the very essence of Cyprus
What experience at Columbia Beach Resort would you personally recommend to visitors? That very much depends on the season that guests visit us. For the summer, for example, when the sun is sweltering and the water cool and refreshing, I would have to recommend they embrace their daring side, and try one of the many watersports activities we have available along the beach. How many people can say they’ve gone on holiday and have tried wakeboarding, or water skiing?
Guests visiting us in autumn or spring, meanwhile, should definitely embrace the surrounding nature, and engage in one of the local nature trails, or biking activities.
Of course, for anyone who merely wants to relax and be pampered, our world-class, award-winning spa is on hand with a variety of treatments, an indoor pool, Jacuzzi and sauna, and the in-house restaurants are a confluence of flavours from all corners of the world: any gastronome’s dream!
I’m happy to say that whether seeking simply sun and sea, a cultural experience, a gourmet discovery, or rest and relaxation, Columbia BeachResort has something for everyone
Is there a leisure activity that Cyprus can ideally cater for that you’ve seen grow in prominence in recent years? What should travellers and industry professionals be keeping their eye on? Golf is a major attraction, and, with its warm summers and mild winters,
Cyprus is perfectly positioned to host both golfing novices and enthusiasts. We work with some of the most prestigious golf courses on the island to ensure our guests receive the best treatment, and get the best out of their experience, whether that be a full-blown golfing holiday, or a first-time lesson. I’m looking forward to seeing how this niche market develops: it has a lot of potential.
What are your impressions of the ‘Columbia family’?I think family is the key word! Everyone is so friendly, and comes to work in good spirits, ready to take on the day’s challenges (not to mention that the staff’s canteen food is so good!). More exciting still is that I’m a part of the team that maintains and nurtures one of Cyprus’ premier five-star resorts, and I look forward to further developing both new and existing markets in my capacity as Sales Manager.