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Venice hosts the 50th Annual General Assembly of the European Hotel Managers Association EHMA


The event will take place at the legendary Hotel Excelsior Venice Lido Resort from 12 to 14 April celebrating EHMA’s golden jubilee.

1974, Rome: a group of prominent Hotel General Managers of undisputed professional ethics operating first class and luxury properties establish the European Hotel Managers Association with the aim of maintaining and enhancing standards of excellence in the hotel industry. 2024, Venice: EHMA, counting today more than 440 members from 23 European countries and representing about 400 hotels, 86,000 rooms and 66,000 employees, holds its golden jubilee in the magical city on the occasion of its Annual General Meeting. The theme of the Venice event will be Human Capital and the Challenge of Involving New Young Professionals in Hospitality. On Saturday 13 April, during the gala dinner at the iconic “Sala degli Stucchi” of the Hotel Excelsior, EHMA President Panos Almyrantis will hand out the most coveted awards: European Hotel Manager of the Year; Hans Koch Lifetime Achievement Award; Sustainability Award by Diversey and Best Practices Award”.

“This meeting in Venice represents the height of 50 years of vibrant life of the Association with members coming from all over Europe to celebrate our dynamic present, our prestigious past and imagine our challenging future”, comments Panos Almyrantis, President of EHMA, National Delegate of Greece & Cyprus and Chief Development Officer (CDO) of Ella Resorts in Athens. “Our vision is to be the preferred Association of Hotel Managers, representing the most prestigious and unique hotels in Europe. EHMA is an association of people, not hotels, and our aim is to foster friendship and amical spirit among its members, support an inclusive and stimulating networking environment, sharing experiences, insights and support to effectively communicate within the hotel industry with integrity, loyalty and trust, and to facilitate ongoing education, with the support of leading international schools. Along the years, the organization has developed a modern and progressive approach, promoting an expansionist outlook that adapts renowned European know-how to the demands of the rapidly changing international hospitality industry. This year’s theme – Human Capital and its role in luxury hospitality explores ways to commit, engage and inspire young people to enter a rewarding profession that is essentially about people and offers endless opportunities and a great sense of job satisfaction”.

Ezio A. Indiani, EHMA Italy National Delegate and General Manager of Hotel Principe di Savoia Milan, comments: “I am proud of the work completed by the Organizing Committee of the Venice Assembly, because the members were able to work well together, demonstrating their creativity and individual skills to create a program characterized by inclusion and great communicative power towards all the “human factor” of the hospitality world”.

Among the most eagerly awaited moments of the meeting, there will also be the presentation of the European Hotel Manager of the Year award, to celebrate the EHMA hotel manager who has particularly distinguished himself or herself during the year, and the EHMA Hans Koch Lifetime Achievement Award honoring outstanding EHMA retired General Managers who have significantly contributed to the improvement of the Hotel Business over their lifetime career and to the Association itself, as well as the EHMA Sustainability Award by Diversey and the Best Practices Award, an accolade that will award the winning hotel general manager who showcased efforts towards protecting the environment, uplifting communities and demonstrating rightful business conduct.

The program

The program of EHMA Venice will start on Friday, April 12th, with the General Assembly, the 50th in the history of the Association. During the meeting there will be the introduction of new members, the presentation of EHMA Warsaw 2025, the announcement of the city hosting the 52nd AGM in 2026. Some of the most prestigious universities and organizations in the sector will be present, such as Nolan Cornell and École Hôtelière de Lausanne, as well as HOTREC and Preferred Hotels & Resorts.

Commitment to the next generation of hospitality professionals has been one of the Association’s goals from the beginning. Precisely in this spirit, at the same time as the Members’ Assembly, the Young EHMA 2024 Group will participate in a working session organized by EHL (École Hôtelière de Lausanne). The group is composed of young hoteliers, presented by the various delegations, with a certain level of experience (junior managers/department heads) who are offered the opportunity to participate in the EHMA Annual General Meeting.

The “Members’ Time” will close the first day of the AGM session.

The Cocktail Dinatoire will be held at Palazzo Pisani Moretta, a gothic palace overlooking the Grand Canal built in the 15th century by the Bembo family and since 1629 residence of a branch of the noble Pisani family. The sumptuous interior is decorated in Baroque and Neoclassical styles dating back to the 18th century and boasts works by Giambattista Tiepolo and Pietro Longhi.

The highlight of the three-day program in Venice will be the Educational Day on Saturday, April 13th, which will develop the theme of the meeting. While tourism and hospitality are growing in Europe, the availability of new young professionals in this business is becoming the biggest challenge for the sector. The 2024 edition of the GA will deeply focus the human capital topic aiming to be more influential on the job market and better understand the new generations in current challenging though exciting times for the hospitality industry.

The list of speakers include Bruno Fournet, Disneyland Paris’ HR Director, Learning and Development; Inés Blal, Associate professor of Strategic Management at École Hôtelière de Lausanne; Francesco Di Cesare, President of Risposte Turismo; Alessandro Ferrazza, Senior Lecturer Program Manager Post Graduate Degree Sunderland University London; Antoinette Dale Henderson, renowned international keynote speaker and Founder of The Gravitas Programme; Massimo Canducci, international manager, university professor, author and speaker; Jennifer Tombaugh, President of Tauck; Sébastien Fernandez, PhD, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at EHL; Alberto Valenza, Vice President HR and Organization for Aeroporti di Roma; Frank Theis, Chief Customer Officer of Diversey; Marco Truffelli, hotelier, psychologist, co-founder of Resilirē Psychological Growth; Jan Ferris, clinical psychologist and co-founder Resilirē Psychological Growth; Marco Ceresa, Group Chief Executive Officer Randstad Italia; John Bruce Tracey, HR Management and Area Chair for Management and Organizations at Cornell University; Francesca Senette, journalist, life coach, well-being expert and CEO of TrYbe; Elia Congiu, Chief HR Officer, Explora Journeys and MSC Cruises; Petros Papageorgiou, Director Sales On Premise – Horeca at Heineken Italia; Alexandros Vassilikos, President HOTREC; Brenda Collin, Executive Vice President of Preferred Travel Group. The closing speaker will be Sir John Kirwan, the globally recognized mental health advocate, author, entrepreneur and a rugby legend.

During the Gala Dinner in the spectacular Louis XIV-style “Sala degli Stucchi” of the Hotel Excelsior, a seaview hall decorated with white stucco and Murano chandeliers, there will be the eagerly anticipated presentation of the awards “European Hotel Manager of the Year 2024” and “Hans Koch Lifetime Achievement”. The “EHMA Sustainability Award by Diversey”, dedicated to the best sustainable hospitality project of the year, will also be presented. In fact, EHMA has always distinguished itself for its commitment to the Green theme, which is as fundamental today as it will be tomorrow for the sustainable growth of the sector.

Accompanying guests will have the opportunity to visit The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, one of the most important museums of European and American art of the 20th century in Italy, and to enjoy a guided tour of St. Marco area.

A farewell brunch will close the event at the Elimar Restaurant of the Hotel Excelsior.

The program of the event has been put together thanks to the work of the Organizing Committee supported by the Italy National Delegate Ezio A. Indiani and composed by Alessio Lazazzera (Chairman) – General Manager Hotel Excelsior Venice Lido Resort; Cristiano Cabutti (Treasurer) – General Manager JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa; Massimiliano Perversi – General Manager Hilton Mulino Stucky; Alain Bullo – General Manager Londra Palace; Paolo Morra – General Manager Sina Centurion Palace; Paolo Lorenzoni – General Manager The Gritti Palace; Nicolino Grigio – General Manager Palazzo Giovannelli; Salvatore Pisani – Complex General Manager Hotel Gabrielli & Splendid Venice.

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Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.