Almost two years have passed since the annual general meeting of EHMA was planned to have taken place in Lugano, Switzerland. Those plans did not include a global pandemic. Today, finally, the organising committee has announced the new dates of the exclusive event, which will be held at the LAC in Lugano between 18 and 20 March 2022.

EHMA, European Hotel Managers Association, was founded in Rome in 1974 by executives of the hotel industry who were united in their desire to maintain and increase the image of hotel heritage. It is made up of senior hotel managers invested in the common goal of perfecting and innovating customer services.

Currently, the association has about 400 members representing 29 European countries.

For almost half a century, EHMA has chosen a different European location for this important event, and this time the Ticino lakeside city, a crossroads of international cultures, will be the stage for this important moment of meeting and exchange. The headquarters of the event will be the LAC – Lugano Art and Culture, a cultural centre of great prestige and a location full of creative inspiration.

The theme chosen is ‘It’s all about passion’, to underline the centrality of the engine that moves the world towards great goals.

“It is the passion that motivates us to reach the most ambitious goals”, comments the president of the organising committee Giuseppe Rossi, GM of the Hotel Splendide Royal in Lugano. “Passion makes creativity blossom and, especially after Covid, we realised its importance. In the hospitality sector especially, where the commitment is 24 hours a day, only passion can make a difference and motivate the new generations to a profession that is as rewarding as it is demanding. This is one of the objectives of EHMA Lugano 2022: to attract young hotel talent driven by passion.”

An ‘exciting’ programme

It is no coincidence that, within the rich programme of the three days in Lugano, the highlight will be the Educational Day on 19 March. In fact, it will be the overarching theme that unites the speakers who will exchange the baton on the stage of the LAC theatre. Great personalities, leaders by nature and attitude, who will tell their personal and professional success stories, enchanting the public with the charisma that distinguishes each of them. Coming from outside the hotel industry but sharing a passionate love for their work, the guests of the day will be revealed a few weeks before the start of the assembly.

To conclude the day, a round table, with the participation of the chief executive of leading companies in the luxury hotel sector, will discuss how they can enhance passion in their companies, and how passion has helped them overcome the challenges wrought by the pandemic.

The Gala Dinner at the Hotel Splendide Royal will be among the most anticipated moments for the delivery of the European ‘Hotel Manager of the Year’ award, but also the new ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ and, of course, the Sustainability Award by Diversey, dedicated to best sustainable hospitality project of the year. In fact, EHMA has always been committed to green principles, which are fundamental today and tomorrow for the sustainable growth of the sector.

Young people, opportunities and institutions

The EHMA Lugano programme will start the day before, as usual, with the General Assembly of Members – the 48th in the association’s basement in the splendid location of the LAC. During the meeting, the new members will be unveiled, three of whom will be lucky enough to win a Professional Development Program course at Cornell University in Ithaca in the US, and will be candidates for future general meetings. During the session, the presidential elections of EHMA will be held for the next mandate 2022/24.

The commitment to the new generation of hospitality professionals has been, from the very beginning, one of the objectives of the association. In keeping with this theme, the Young EHMA 2022 Group will participate in a work session organised by EHL (Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne) and will present the results of its work at the same time as the shareholders’ meeting. The group is made up 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 Assembly.

Within the group, the winner of the ‘EHMA Dario Dell’Antonia Award’ is annually awarded to the particularly deserving EHL graduate.

The assembly will continue with the intervention of the president of HOTREC – Jens Zimmer Christensen – and the ‘Members Hour’ where the EHMA Best Practices will be presented.

The day will end with the classic welcome cocktail at the Hotel Villa Principe Leopoldo in Lugano.

“The EHMA general assembly will also be an excellent opportunity to discover Lugano, its historic centre a stone’s throw from the LAC and dotted with squares and arcades, and its elegant lakefront framed by the mountains.”

A territory to discover

Known throughout Switzerland as the Swiss Riviera, the Canton of Ticino is the southernmost and sunniest part of the Swiss confederation. Lugano, in particular, combines luxuriant surroundings with a friendly and open culture.

The EHMA general assembly will also be an excellent opportunity to discover Lugano, its historic centre a stone’s throw from the LAC and dotted with squares and arcades, and its elegant lakefront framed by the mountains. The gastronomic square, as well as the wine world, offer real gems that are worth exploring, perhaps between one EHMA session and another. The LAC also offers the opportunity to feed a hunger for art and culture.

The hotels that will host the participants will be: Hotel Splendide Royal, Grand Hotel Villa Castagnola, Swiss Diamond Hotel, Villa Principe Leopoldo, Lugano Dante Center.