YES to Sea Tourism Forum said the big YES to sea tourism!

YES to Sea Tourism Forum successfully took place on Wednesday, the 29th of May 2019 at Domotel Kastri, north Athens, closing the Posidonia Sea Tourism 2019 International Maritime Tourism Exhibition, with the participation of more than 300 executives from the shipping and maritime tourism sectors.

Danae Bezantakou, concept-founder of YES Forum and CEO of Navigator Shipping Consultants, underlined that the goal of YES FORUM is to encourage young people in Greece to understand that there are many reasons to stay here and realise that shipping and tourism industries are the two main pillars of the Greek economy on which they can depend, improve themselves in that way and make Greece proud internationally. The YES Forum leader presented the “YES to Schools” programme to the participants, through which primary and secondary school students are being familiarised with the characteristics and history of shipping and tourism in order to include them consciously in their choices of what to study. This project has become a reality as this year’s presentations took place in the career days of more than 10 schools, tutorials and events in the Attica municipalities where more than 1,000 students had the opportunity to learn the prospects of professional enhancement in these fields.

Representatives of the Ministry of Tourism, the General Secretariat for Youth, the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping and the Association of Shipowners of Cruise Ships attended the conference. George Alexandratos, 2nd Vice President of The Hellenic Chamber of Shipping underlined the importance of synergies and invited young people to search among the 80 specialties of the Shipping Industry and maritime cluster in which they can be employed. Dr. Panagiota Dionysopoulou, General Director of Tourism Policy, in her address, underlined that the development of maritime tourism is a priority in the Strategic Pillars of National Tourism Policy as a powerful competitive advantage. The Special Scientist of the General Secretariat for Youth, Dora Giannaki, underlined that among the objectives of the new National Strategy for the new generation of our country, seven thematic objectives are included, among them “Affordable Education – Training & Apprenticeship” , “Decent Work and the Development of Youth Entrepreneurship” and “the creation of Youth-friendly and Demographic Refurbishment of the Countryside”. “Events such as the Yes to Sea Forum serve and are included in national planning, so they have our implicit support,” she said.

“Having the clearest and cleanest seas of the Mediterranean we have the ability to create and exploit products and services around sea tourism. Typical examples are the development of ‘thematic tourism’, start-up operations, winter tourism and the creation of”ecologically managed marine biotopes”.

Xenia Kourtoglou, co-founder and managing director of Focus Bari, presented the results of a survey conducted for YES Forum. The aim was to compare the views of young people and companies on labour supply and demand in maritime tourism.

According to the results, 54% of respondents surveyed do not work, 30% work in another sector, while 16% have been already working in the shipping industry. 45% of respondents expressed that they want to work in shipping and 7% attended the conference because they are interested in working in maritime tourism.


Companies that participated in the survey responded that 54% of Greek job seekers are not very competitive. As far as the degree of difficulty of finding a job in this industry, companies consider that it is quite high. Also, 92% believe that young people do not have the proper training and education and 80% do not have enough experience. Companies believe that the most crucial factor is experience in the particular workplace, as well as the personality characteristics of the candidates. Finally,77% of respondents both from companies and youth responded that sea tourism in their view means cruising.

The Forum’s main speaker was the founder and chairman of Goldenport Group of Companies, Capt. Paris Dragnis, who pointed out that if we all want Greek shipping to retain its leading position worldwide, we should all of us support the new generation, with belief in their talent and skills.

Capt. Dragnis invited young Greeks to think seriously about the professions of the sea because, as he said, they are endowed with capabilities without knowing it. “This does not mean that everything will come easily to them or that there will be no deprivations and difficulties. However, shipping knows to reward both those who are working onboard and ashore. They are the most well-paid jobs in our country. We are also able to absorb many young people who are willing to work for shipping. ”

 Coordinator of the discussion on Sea Tourism Panel was Minas Tsamopoulos, journalist with “Proto Thema”. Speakers on the panel were Maria Deligianni, Government and Public Affairs Representative of the Eastern Mediterranean – Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), Capt. Vasilis Gazikas, Marine Operations Director of Celestyal Cruises, Dr. Thanos Pallis, Professor of Economics and Political Ports of the University of the Aegean and President – International Maritime Economics Association and Alexandros Seremedis, Lecturer of Metropolitan College.

Capt. Gazikas, advised young people to look for every new prospect and opportunity and not to stay stagnant! Moreover, shipping and sea tourism are paths that you must explore to succeed, either pursuing a career onboard or ashore! Ms Deligianni, pointed out that will, personality and knowledge are the keys to success. Dr. Pallis focused on the role of ports in the cruise industry and the prospects for professional rehabilitation.

Mr. Seremelis urged always working close to young people, sharing their anxiety and daily effort during their Bachelor or Master and the subsequent or parallel job search. He advised young people that they should not give up on their dreams until they make them come true.

This was one more Forum when the discussion with representatives of shipping companies, shipping providers as well as with representatives of public and private institutions that presented their postgraduate programmes in maritime studies yielded considerable interest.

Part of theYES to Sea Tourism Forum proceeds will be allocated for the purposes of Syn-Enopsis, Greek Shipowners’ Social Welfare Company. Executive director of Syn-Enosis Athanasios Bousios thanked the organisers for the initiative and stressed that the contribution of such actions is particularly important.

Danae Bezantakou, in the Forum’s closing, urged young people to hold a positive attitude and not to be overwhelmed, to recognise the efforts made by many companies, executives and organisations of shipping and sea tourism Industries, to be committed to their goal and appreciate those who devote their time to this cause.

 Concluding this very successful  Forum, Ms Bezantakou invited everyone who contributed and supported YES to Sea Tourism Forum to continue the dialogue at the YES to Shipping Forum 2020, on 5th of June next year during Posidonia 2020. 

efood challenge

efood is the leading online delivery marketplace in Greece, with more than 2,5 million transactions per month. Despite its fast growth and the exceptional service it provides, there are always pain points with huge potential for improvement. In 7 days, you and your team will have the chance to pitch a new killer product feature or a remarkable marketing idea, based on three key business issues, that will contribute to efood’s main goal: make “every order want to be an efood order”. An invitation to the efood headquarters and free delivery for a week are waiting to reward the best idea!

As you already know from Monday’s presentation, our 3 basic challenges are:

1. Online payment share: Online payments help efood with its cash flow, but also seem to affect basic KPIs such as basket size in a positive way. Only 1 out of 5 people that order from efood use digital payments. Is there a way for efood to increase this number?

2. Coffee share: More than 28% of efood’s orders have coffee as their basic cuisine. Even if coffee is the fastest growing cuisine, a perception that efood is just online food delivery is still alive. Coffee is a daily habit in Greece and has a much better frequency than all time classic cuisines(pizza/souvlaki/burger). How can efood onboard every user that drinks coffee to order their coffee from the platform?

3. Build around sports audience: “Invite friends-order pizza-see football” is a story that almost anyone has been part of and efood’s data approve. Important football/basketball matches(Champions League, World Cup, Euroleague, local derbys, etc.) are the only events that bring incremental orders in a certain hourly window around the beginning of the game. Can efood give more incentives or build brand love in sports fans?

Are you ready to meet efood’s team and see how a successful Greek startup works on a daily basis?

Prepare your ideas/presentation and fill this form:

efood’s marketing & product teams will examine your ideas and announce the winners on Friday 20/7.

Onboarding Information

CruiseInn’s welcome presentations will take place on Monday 2/7 at 13:00pm (Athens local time, GMT +2) on the cruise ship Celestyal Crystal, which will be moored to the Port of Piraeus(Gate E11), before our departure. You are urged to show up at the departure gate by 13:15  the latest.

Important Note: If you are planning to board with professional equipment beyond a laptop, please get in touch with an e-mail to let us know.

Please keep in mind that you should not have any important or expensive personal belonging in your baggage! You will give your baggage during the checkin and you will take it back during the cabin allocation.


Danae Thanou

Danae was born on 9th of April in 1993. She has studied Home Economics & Ecology in Harokopeio University. As a university student, she was very passionate and finished her studies in 3.5years. While she was studying, she was also a volunteer in a non-profit Organization, for children in emergency, named as “The child’s smile”. In addition she has worked in many establishments, in order to be financially independent. Her first full-time job was in Yoleni’s eshop in B2B sales department for two years. In July of 2017, Danae started working for Vardakis Group Companies such as Europcar, Athens Happy Train & Eparking in B2B sales department. Apart from her B2B sales duties, Danae created and managed found raising events/projects for celebrating World days. As a person, Danae is extremely sociable and gets on well with colleagues and friends. One of Danae’s remarkable qualities is that she is highly motivated and is constantly trying to further her knowledge, experiences and improve herself.

Georgios Kotsyfos

Georgios Kotsyfos was born in Heraklion of Crete in 1992. He studied Mathematics at National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in which he graduated with honors. He has also successfully completed his post-graduate studies in pure Mathematics. He speaks Greek (mother tongue), English, German and he is familiar with several softwares. He taught at Department of Mathematics as a Teaching Assistant and he tutored undergraduate students in several undergraduate courses. He has a well-regarded history of working in financial services industry as well as a good background in Finance. He is interested in the fields of Tourism, Maritime and Gastronomy. In his free time he likes to watch movies, reading and working out.

Orestis Geniatakis

Orestis Geniatakis was born in Heraklion, Crete in 1993. He holds Bachelor’s Degree focused in Business/Managerial Economics from Technological Educational Institute of Crete. He has a demonstrated history of working in the financial services industry, in the hotel industry and as a volunteer. He is skilled in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Budgeting, Chart Analysis, Event Planning, and Microsoft Excel. He is passionate about Entrepreneurship, new technologies (e.g. Blockchain, A.I, IoT) and Finance. In his free time he likes to exercise and playing chess.

Elena Dede

Elena Dede is the co-founder and Business Development Manager of Woof Club, a travel startup on pet-friendly tourism and hospitality. She specializes on business development and strategy, product design and destination marketing. Elena has a 3-year experience as a social entrepreneur with her project Dogs’ Voice and a 2-year experience as a start upper in Tourism sector. Through Woof Club, she disrupted the Greek hospitality market by making more than 350 pet-friendly hotels in Greece to applying Woof Club standards in pet-friendly hospitality and by transforming Greece into a European pet-friendly destination for more than 1470 international travelers that visited Greece with their pet through Woof Club affiliate network since 2017. Her vision is to empower pet owners to discover the world along with their pets and to enjoy high quality services across the globe. Woof Club has been awarded 3 innovation awards since 2017 and is launching a new full service for travelers with pets in October 2018. Elena’s passion is to create services, technology and products for travelers that their needs are underrepresented to the international travel market. She holds an LL.B from the Law School of the National University of Athens and two post-graduate degrees in Law (LL.M in Labor Law, Law School of National University of Athens, 2010 and LL.M in Banking and Finance Law, Queen Mary University of London, 2011). Before founding Dogs’ Voice and Woof Club, Elena was working at KG Law Firm as an associate lawyer in Banking and Capital Markets department.

Nikolaos Kalyvas

Undergraduate student based in Sofia Bulgaria, directly related with the hospitality, gastronomy and tourism industry, working as an associate in a Travel Company and as a manager in Greece, Cyprus, Malta territories of a hotel toiletries manufacturer. Currently founding a company in Greece in order to implement a pioneering software idea related to tourism, improve logistics and goods distribution network and develop an e-shop.

Konstantinos Staikos

Konstantinos holds a diploma from the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the Polytechnic school of University of Patras with an orientation on Electronics and Computers. He has worked as a lead engineer in the field of the renewable energy sources, specifically at the design and the implementation of photovoltaic plants. At that period, his main tasks included the technical design of the plants and the supervision of the crew during the installation. Apart from this, he has worked as a freelancer in web development, implementing and maintaining websites using front-end technologies and content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress. Moreover, he has successfully completed the 1st Coding Bootcamp (powered by Alliance for Digital Employability) in the specification of C#.Currently he is employed as a Software Developer on Microsoft Dynamics NAV (E.R.P.).

Efthymios Pegkas

Efthymios Pegkas is an undergraduate student in Electrical & Computer Engineering, specializing in Software Development & Design and Business Management. He has a wide view of both the technical and financial aspect of his area. After returning from a scholarship granted to him by prof. Soundris (NTUA Microlab) in Dsseldorf, Germany he currently works on his thesis.

Working abroad, he obtained a well-rounded perspective of the European market. In 2017 he developed an Arduino based program for Object-oriented Robots Remote Control. Efthymios understands that the user’s (or client’s) needs regarding a product (or service) is the most valuable asset an enterprise (or company) is found on. Thus, he strives to address those needs and unfold new ones. When not programming, Efthymios likes to focus bettering himself, because he strongly believes that “you shall only have a strong mind, provided a strong body”, like his ancestors used to say.