Once again the organisers had done us proud at the reception desk. Each participant received a shoulder-bag containing copious documentation on the charms of Turkey, together with a beautiful ball-point pen, a badge and the programme written in Turkish, English and French. And when they left, they received a certificate of attendance as well as an individual present for each student handed to them at the closing ceremony.
the reception team almost at full strength
Everyone agreed that the buffet breakfasts, lunches and dinners in the Kemer Resort Hotel were of a very high quality. It would have been hard to complain that anything was missing. In the evenings at dinner there was even musical entertainment provided by a young lady singer. Unfortunately for her, nobody seemed to listen to her.
Voting by acclaim
Delegates at the General Assembly are usually provided with three cards for any voting that is called for: red for no, green for yes, and yellow for abstention. This time there were no cards, so the delegates were asked to vote by acclaim!
Respecting the official languages
Since the AEHT’s official languages are English and French there was some hesitation when the various countries were being presented because the presentations were first made in Turkish: thus Isvec is Sweden, Hiravatistan is Croatia, Isvicre is Switzerland and Yunanistan is Greece! Translation was not so easy!
The AEHT family photograph this year was taken in the magnificent setting of the ancient theatre in Aspendos. An excellent idea which enabled us to produce a document which will last for years. The Romans hadn’t thought of it.
When the group was leaving the ancient theatre in Aspendos, Alfonso Benvenuto, the AEHT President, couldn't resist the temptation to look down on the world from a little higher up - from the back of a camel as the photograph shows. The poor creature had probably never had sitting on its hump a president representing at least 400,000 directors, teachers and students from Europe's hotel and tourism schools ...
The delights of the beach?
The seminars on Pro-Terris and Virtex, the lecture by Dr Fahri Isik, even though they were on subjects which in theory were of interest to teachers and directors, were very sparsely attended. A shame for the speakers.
The students taking part in the culinary arts and pastry competitions should be congratulated for working at the Turem School in Kemer. Indeed, even if it goes without saying that it is hot in the kitchen, it really was hot because of the large number of competitors working there, not to mention the members of the judging panel all crammed into a very confined space.
Store is no sore …?
The ‘all inclusive’ formula at the hotel attracted serious consumers around the various bars. It’s true that it’s very tempting to order a drink, then another and another, then yet another without having to put your hand in your pocket! And all your drinks were served with such speed and with such a pleasant smile!
Casa della divisa
Just beside the reception desk in the foyer of the Kemer Resort Hotel was an exhibition stand with work uniforms. Marco Esposto is an AEHT member in the ‘professional membership’ category, and he and his assistant presented a whole range of their products intended for all categories of staff working in a hotel. Their stand was highly successful and attracted enquires of all kinds. (http://www.casadelladivisa.it)
The Türem School in Kemer
This tourism school has 109 students aged between 16 and 20, together with ten teachers in the various departments: reception, F&B, food service and food production. It was in this school, located at the far end of Kemer, that the culinary arts and pastry competitions took place.
Take care – slippery floor!
Going to the hammam or Turkish bath, especially if you splash out on the added pleasure of a foam scrub, can be a dangerous experience. Your devoted journalist was the victim of just such an accident when he stood up after the scrub and made for the exit: he fell to the floor and suffered a slight cut above the eye and bruises all over! The staff moved into action and quickly gave him first aid and made a fuss of him. But he was more frightened than hurt, and even if the story quickly got around the hotel, for your journalist it is no more than a bad memory.
Almost everywhere you looked on the street corners in Kemer and elsewhere, if you were a little observant you could see pomegranate sellers. In an instant they would serve you a pomegranate juice using a hand press. But sometimes you had to add sugar - just a little.
On several occasions both during the opening ceremony and at the closing ceremony groups of people chatted away quite openly in certain parts of the hall, even while the speeches were going on. This annoyed those who wanted to listen. The directors and teachers concerned should speak to their students to point out this obvious discourtesy.
The delegation which had come the furthest
Among the 30 countries represented at the Antalya conference there was one delegation which despite its discretion did no go unnoticed – the delegation from Mexico: so far from Europe, and yet very present!
Local artefacts and Turkish delight
The organisers very rightly made sure that the participants became acquainted with Turkish traditions and the particular features of Turkish food. To this end they arranged exhibitions and tastings beside the entrance to the ball-room. Very many of our number yielded to the temptation of a Turkish delight and admired the skills of the local craftsmen and women.
The bosses at work!
The Annual Conference is also an ideal time to bring together all the members of the Executive Board attending the conference to discuss together the year’s work. It is an important event which always takes place away from the rest of the activities, the main business being to prepare for the General Assembly.