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Elena Ioannidou Ortner Elena Ioannidou Ortner

Elena Ioannidou Ortner, Owner, Elenas Zypern Reisen, Vienna, Austria

When and how did you get involved in the tourism industry? I started in the tourism industry just after my studies in Vienna, as the sales and marketing officer of Cyprus Tourism Organisation’s Vienna office, between 2000 – 2006.

After working eight years as the press attaché of the embassy of Cyprus in Vienna, I decided to found my own travel agency and tour operator, specialising in Cyprus, with an emphasis on quality tourism and unique experiences.

What are the most important attributes of a good travel agent/tour operator?

To be able to understand the needs and wishes of every single customer and offer them the appropriate product, suited to them.

This is time consuming, but it [pays] off, in that you have highly satisfied and regular customers.

One must also be honest to the customer, because there is nothing worse than unfulfilled expectations.

What is the most frequently asked question that your company receives from customers?

My customers are mostly interested in authentic experiences during their holidays. So a lot has to do with unique activities like cooking lessons, guided trekking and authentic restaurants.

What are the must-visits and must-dos in Austria that nobody should miss?

One should not miss to visit one of the typical Viennese coffee houses, where you experience the Viennese lifestyle at its best.

[...] The Museums Quartier is a must for museum and design lovers.

Which destination is on your bucket-list?

I hope to manage to visit Polynesia with its fascinating cultural and natural treasures.