I am proud to introduce myself as the new president of the European Hotel Managers Association (EHMA), and the first Swiss national to hold this prestigious position. Throughout my 35-year career, I have worked at hotel operators from Hilton International to ITC Hotels, and across regions including Europe, South America, Asia and Africa. In addition to my presidential duties, I am also national delegate for EHMA’s Swiss chapter and CEO of KKL Luzern Management.

The future of EHMA

As EHMA president, my priorities are, firstly, to preserve the association’s core value of safeguarding the ethical principles of our profession and, secondly, to maintain the amicable spirit of our members.

I see the need to review and adapt the association’s framework, in order to more effectively deal with emerging trends and developments in Europe’s increasingly challenging economical
and political environment.

It is crucial for us to make the EHMA membership attractive to the next generation of general managers. We must welcome those who are willing to participate proactively by offering constructive input, as well as with their presence during national and general meetings. This is how we will add value to ensure the continuity of the association.

Sponsors are becoming increasingly important for the association. We should nurture our relationship with existing sponsors and be more proactive in acquiring new ones. Today’s sponsors want to be recognised as partners, and are looking for opportunities to present their products and services to the association’s members.

Five-year plan

In conclusion, I believe EHMA’s goals over the next five years must be to encourage cooperation and make contacts with associations and institutions, such as HOTREC, and promote the interests of hotel and restaurant enterprises to European regulatory bodies.

We must also provide platforms for members to contribute collective intelligence on issues of common interest, such as developments and challenges impacting the industry. Problems should be openly discussed and solutions identified. The value of education must also be upheld. Members should be given opportunities to pursue their continuing professional development through cooperation with hotel schools and universities.

It is my aim to increase EHMA’s public profile through various programmes, such as awarding internships to selected hotel school students; promote continued benchmarking in hotel service excellence; build and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with sponsors; and, last but not least, acquire new and active members to ensure the continued growth of EHMA.

Together, it is our mission to help EHMA reach new heights during increasingly challenging times.