MEETINGS, SEMINARS AND EVENING ENTERTAINMENT
Every year the AEHT leadership takes the opportunity of the Annual Conference to meet before the General Assembly – enabling them to prepare for the meeting thoroughly and to make plans for the future.
Thus the Presidium met on October 5th from 09.00 to 13.00 in the hotel’s Geneva room, and a smaller group met on October 6th from 15.30 to 17.30. The following day, October 7th, it was the turn of the Executive Board to meet in plenary session, in particular to proceed to the election of a new Vice-President to replace Annie Collinet, the director of the Bonneville school (France), whose vice-presidential mandate was coming to its end because of her retirement. The man fortunate enough to be elected was Herman Siebens, director of the KTA School in Wemmel (Belgium). Many other decisions were of course also taken at this important meeting (please see the minutes which can be consulted at www.aeht.eu ).
On October 7th a seminar on Port wines brought together around 30 people in the Manhattan room; they had the chance to discover the different types of port thanks to the explanations of a specialist, Manuel Maria Pinto from the Escola de Hoteleria e Turismo do Douro; his presentation was accompanied by tastings of these incomparable wines
On a different theme, a seminar took place in the same room in the afternoon, entitled ‘Ethics in Tourism and Sustainable Development’. The audience was rather thin, unfortunately.
On October 8th, however, a seminar intended to make us ‘understand Portuguese cheeses’ attracted rather more participants. A tasting of the three main types of cheese was the key to its success, accompanied by the necessary explanations.
Perhaps we should mention that these seminars are an added extra in the Conference programme, and that they are offered by the organisers as a type of continuing education. It is therefore a pity that they do not attract more people.
The conference programme included a musical performance in the bar after dinner. The area around the bar was therefore in fact very busy, but a number of participants opted instead for trips into town, to the great delight of the taxi-drivers who were always parked outside the hotel.
The typical Portuguese evening on Thursday October 7th had been planned for the hotel terrace, but unfortunately the rain and strong winds interfered with the plans, obliging Paul Revés to think again. While the buffet dinner was served on the terrace, unfortunately the folk group named ‘Rancho folclorico da Casa do Concelho de Pampilhosa da Serra’ was prevented from showing its talent to the full. After the guests had performed a conga, the folk dancers gave their performance outside, but to a smaller audience because of the adverse weather conditions. A nice little touch was the terracotta objects placed on a table, and later distributed to the audience.