Athens-based luxury Destination Management Company (DMC), Seez, is making a concerted effort to expand its awareness in the Australian market and intends to forge closer ties with local travel advisors.
George Eliades, Managing Director and Founder of Seez was in Australia late last year, escorted to the offices of some leading luxury travel advisors by La Collection’s Co-Founder, Craig Farrell. They also met exclusively with LATTE while in Sydney.
Seez is a 10-year old Greek DMC and a Founding Member of Serandipians (Traveller Made). The company specialises in Greek destinations such as Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, The Peloponnese, Paros, Naxos, Halkidiki, Milos, Corfu and Crete, to name a few, alongside the Cycladic, Aegean and Ionian islands.
The DMC’s secret sauce is aligning with trusted suppliers with whom it has long-standing relationships on service delivery for products and experiences that are competitive and unique.
With a background in B2B business and investment, Eliades told LATTE entering the luxury hospitality space in 2011 “was a natural evolution” from his previous career, which was driven by relationships and customer service. He launched Seez in 2012. It specialises in cultural, culinary, beach, outdoor and local experiences.
“Seez caters for travel advisors from around the globe who have clients that want to experience Greece in a more affluent and experiential way, and that require somebody on the ground.”
Eliades says advisors need a “local friend” when they can’t be there to personally escort clients on their travels.
“When you have a local friend, they can set you up with all the best places to see and eat. And that’s what Seez offers.”
“People want to see an authentic Greece with all its quibbles. They don’t want to see a fixed version. They want the real thing,” he said.
Having successfully expanded Seez’s presence to the UK market a number of years ago, and after a COVID-delayed entry into the US market, Eliades now has his eyes fixed on working closer with Australian trade partners.
“Australia is a very important market because we have implanted so many Greeks in Australia over the years,” Eliades quipped. “We have a lot of Greek/Australians that are coming back but now we feel it is time to come closer to the agents and help them to sell Greece, differently.”
“Australian agents know their clients and they know their audiences. However they lack the time and are many miles away from being in every destination that they are selling, so Seez offers a complementary service to one another.”
“I’ll provide advisors all the information they need, and I’ll be there for you as your local friend when you are in need,” he said. “I want to build long-term relationships.”
Seez is already working with a handful of independent agencies in Australia. Those partnerships were forged through word of mouth from SmartFlyer agencies, or through trade show encounters.
“We see the strength and the quality of clients from this market. Australian clients are going to stay longer and the way that we interact with the Australian agents we can see the quality and there is room for growth,” Eliades explained.
“They’re selling Greece so well and they haven’t even been. I think it’s a good market and for the next couple of years, I can only see it growing.”
Seez tailors packages to advisors’ requests and can customise inclusions to their guests’ interests. One example Eliades shared with LATTE was tracing the ancestry of a client’s grandfather who fought in the Second World War, based in Alexandroupolis in northern Greece. That client wanted to retrace his grandfather’s steps and Seez arranged for a historian from Thessaloniki University to provide insight, and coordinated the hotels, drivers and attractions to visit.
“These days, we see that there is more of a thirst to have something different, whereas in the years gone by it was more of the ABC or the cookie-cutter options,” he said.
Seez also offers a unique luggage concierge in the Greek Islands that eliminates the hassles of catching ferries with suitcases in tow. Instead, Seez has cars that pick up the luggage of clients and transports it for them, making it far simpler for guests who still want to experience the ferry services, “but do it in style”.
Advisors in Melbourne and Sydney were excited by this little-known service, La Collection’s Farrell told LATTE.
While Seez is not a partner of La Collection, at this time anyway, Eliades said Farrell has achieved great rapport with a lot of common Greek clients and their ethos is a good fit.
Farrell said the feedback from local travel advisors who met with Eliades on his recent visit was very encouraging, with many excited by the DMC’s high-end offering.
Find out more on Seez at seeztravel.com.