KATHMANDU, Aug 9: International Association of Hotel Management Schools (EUHOFA International) is hosting its 59th Congress in Kathmandu on November 26-30, 2019.
This is the first time that the global association is organizing its annual congress in Asia.
Over 200 deans, promoters, and top managers of hospitality and tourism schools from different countries will participate in the congress, according to Khem Lakai, board member of EUHOFA International.
“Nepal is getting an opportunity to host the congress next year. We are lucky to be the first Asian country to host the event,” Lakai said. “It will be a great occasion to promote the country’s tourism sector, especially when we are going to observe the following year, 2020, as Visit Nepal Year,” Lakai, who is also the CEO of Kathmandu-based Global Academy of Tourism and Hospitality (GATE), said.
He said that they were working in coordination with Nepal Tourism Board, Hotel Association of Nepal, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Nepal Chapter, and other tourism-related organizations, to successfully host the event in Nepal.
Asked as to why Nepal was chosen as the next venue for its annual congress, EUHOFA President Maria Wiesinger told Republica: “Nepal is a country with great potential. The world has not yet fully known Nepal for its original beauty, which is much more than just mountains. It has very friendly people, rich culture, and profound spirituality.”
“The enthusiasm and ambition of Nepal on tourism is very high,” she said, adding: “We want to support it and promote Nepal as a tourist destination.”
Wiesinger was in Kathmandu this week to prepare for the congress.
EUHOFA International has a membership of more than 200 schools providing hospitality programs in different countries.
In Nepal, there are 40 schools running hospitality and tourism-related programs at the moment. “Five colleges in Nepal are already EUHOFA members, and their standard is quite high,” Wiesinger said. “There is great education at these colleges, and the students are bright. I see lots of potential here.”
The EUHOFA International board tries to have a balance between having congresses in Europe and overseas. In 2018, the global congress is being held in Switzerland to commemorate the 125th year of the establishment of the first school of hospitality, EHL, in Lausanne of Switzerland.