Founder and President – Amorgos International Film Festival
Owner and CEO – Aegialis Tours – Aegialis Hotel & Spa
Irene Giannakopoulos was born in the Greek island of Amorgos, where she finished elementary school. She graduated from six-grade High School in Athens, as the High school on Amorgos required a 4 hour walk on the mountain. She got married at 18, and left for America, where she lived for 10 years, and returned with her family in 1982. She and her husband entered the field of tourism dynamically by establishing the first big hotel on the island, with great risk as at that time Amorgos was completely unknown. Tourism was her favorite subject, since from the age of 10, she helped and gave ideas to her father, who was the first to deal with accommodation in Amorgos.
With a lot of work and participation at Travel exhibitions abroad, she managed to make Amorgos internationally known, and Aegialis Hotel, a reference point, to identify Amorgos. Over the years and the continuous expansion and improvement, the hotel actively contributes to the practice of alternative forms of tourism, in harmony with the special identity of the island, such as gastronomic, herbal, walking, wedding and wellness tourism.
With the support of her family, Irene has made the greatest contribution to the preservation and promotion of culture and traditions in Amorgos. In 1993, she founded the Cultural Association of Women of Amorgos and since then she has been continuously active in cultural and tourism issues. In 2003, the year of preparation of Greece for the Olympic Games in Athens, she organized the first YPERIA International Conference for culture. Her aim was to spread information to the world about the upcoming Olympics, through the media, so journalists were the official guests of YPERIA. The Conference was a great success, and brought big international publicity for Amorgos and entire Greece. Since then, it has been established and carried out uninterruptedly for 20 consecutive years, contributing to the growth of its Tourism, by promoting the culture and history of Greece abroad.
In 2010, Irene established the Amorgos International Film Festival, in parallel with YPERIA, which has been growing since, and is a member of CIFFT International Federation, based in Vienna. In 2017, Irene established The Amorgos Gastronomy Club. She is the author of the Cooking book “My Amorgos”, a history of the island, its gastronomic culture, its herbs, and many Greek recipes.