Slide 1
“Show me the concept”
International Competition
February 13 & 14, 2023
Invitez, The Hague Hospitality Experience Centre, The Netherlands
AC 2023
Slide 1
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Paulo Reves
Paulo RevesPaulo Reves is in charge of equipment, premises and events of the INFTUR schools in Lisbon and has been the linchpin of all the arrangements for Christmas in Europe in Fundão. He is discrete, misses nothing, and has guided the event without ever raising his voice or getting angry; he has a constant smile and the patience of a saint.

Which was the most difficult part?

The most difficult part was erecting this Christmas tree (the tent in the centre of the exhibition). There was a real problem installing this green canopy using lifting gear which was too heavy for the floor in the hall. But we managed it!

How did you go about organising the event?

I went to Coimbra and Fundão about ten times, spending a whole day there each time, to work on the different phases of Christmas in Europe together with the local officers.
This worked perfectly. Of course there were minor problems here and there, but overall nothing too serious. I have to admit that it is stressful, but fantastic too. I'm used to it you know. I had seen DVDs of Senigallia and Bad Ischl which I used to put together the event. I had already organised two large events in Faro and Lisbon since I am in charge of INFTUR competitions. And then in events like this you have to try to predict everything - so I always had a plan A and a plan B. For example, how were we to heat the enormous hall? Well, I had to think of hiring extra heaters!

And how did you find funding for this event?

Half of the cost was paid for by the INFTUR, and of the remainder, 40% was financed by the Fundão town council, the rest by various sponsors. There you go. And when it's all over, I can sleep soundly again! But I would also like to emphasise the hard work of my immediate collaborators Paulo Baptista and Luis Pinto, without of course forgetting the contribution of Maria José Martins, the director of the Fundão School in making local arrangements.


Delighted, completely delighted. All the more so since I can see that all the participants are happy to be here in Portugal and in Fundão…

AEHT President Alfonso Benvenuto

Alfonso BenvenutoAs organiser of the 2003 Christmas in Europe in Senigallia, Alfonso Benvenuto was wearing two hats in Fundão: that of AEHT president and that of the director of the Senigallia school which is participating in the Fundão Christmas in Europe. What were his impressions?

This 14th version of Christmas in Europe in Fundão has brought together a lot of people in a very pleasant and hospitable country. The Fundão School has shown us the best of everything and beautiful places, which has allowed the delegations to make wonderful discoveries. In this little Portuguese town we have really felt that the Christmas traditions are still alive. Every family makes its own Christ child's crib. It's also very much in the spirit of the AEHT, the vision of Christiane Keller, affectionately known as Mother Christmas. I should like to thank the whole INFTUR team from Lisbon as well as the teachers and students of Fundão, especially the director Maria José Martins. The organisation of the stands and the warm welcome have been superb. And the sun has joined in, allowing us to discover a region and its culture very little known to people from Northern Europe.
The next version will be the 15th, in Örebro in Sweden - and I am sure that the Swedish team will organise an interesting stay for us, but this time with snow and ice. I hope that all of you will take part!'

Maria José Martins, Director of the Fundao INFTUR
Maria José MartinsMaria José Martins heads up the small Fundão school where there are 120 students and 20 teachers; she had taken part in the Bad Ischl Christmas in Europe in 2004, and there her stand and her team had caused quite a stir. This time the local organisation was her responsibility, with Paulo Reves in overall charge. For her, Christmas in Europe in Fundão has been 'the tops'

Yes. Everyone worked willingly to make sure this Christmas in Europe was a success. And obviously safely say that everything worked well. I have to say that I have really enjoyed organising the event. And I think that the Fundão teachers and students are happy and very pleased with the experience. And I must admit that some day I wouldn't mind doing it again, for the sake of the school! I have been in touch with regional officials in my search for sponsors. The mayor of Fundão and several of the school's suppliers have helped to ensure that the event was a success. And I think I can !

Jennifer Pauwels - Diekirch/Luxembourg

Jennifer PauwelsJennifer, 19 years old, is a tourism student; she radiates vitality and it is a pleasure to see how happy she is to be in Fundão. 'For me this event lets me see new things, and I find it very attractive. It is interesting to see all this different cultures mingling together here, as well as all these different types of dishes. And it is fantastic to mix with all the other young people. And as I like foreign languages, it's even better.'

Sébastien Boulahrouz - Bonneville/France
Sébastien Boulahrouz

Sébastien is 20 years old and training to be a chef; he has been a big hit as Father Christmas at the cultural evening. This doesn't stop him being modest, even though at heart he is full of fun. As he says, 'To start with I was a bit worried, I needed a bit of time to mix with the others, but in the end I realised that everyone was nice. Unfortunately time passes too quickly. It's my first time abroad and I have to say that it is a fantastic opportunity. We were so warmly welcomed and I'm finding out so many things, especially dishes from all over the place. It's fantastic…'

Marius Note - Tirana/Albanie
Marius NoteAnother one who went down well at the cultural evening, when he danced with his friend in traditional dress, Marius is a 19 year-old student at the Tirana general hotel school where he is learning all aspects of the profession, and his optimism is contagious. For him this Christmas in Europe is 'a fantastic event and a great experience. You can see what other countries are doing and have so many contacts with other young people, it's interesting but there is just not enough time …

Adriana- Yasmina Urbina - Semmering/Autriche
Adriana Urbina

Adriana-Yasmina is 19 years old, studying tourism in Semmering. She is young and lively, and speaks quite openly. 'I was in Senigallia two years ago so I have already experienced this. I like it here. I am meeting lots of people, I'm learning about new traditions and making new contacts. It's great …'
3rd to 5th December 2018 in Riga
3rd to 5th December 2017 in Fátima
5th to 7th December 2018 in San Benedetto
2nd to 5th December 2015 in Diekirch

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