Strathmore represented in EuroCHRIE Conference
The International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education, European Federation (EuroCHRIE) held its 32nd annual conference in Dubai with the theme: Hospitality and Tourism Futures.
Dubai, often referred to as The City of the Future, was fittingly the venue for the EuroCHRIE conference that brought together hospitality and tourism professionals from the industry and academia. It was hosted by The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management attended by more than 250 delegates from over 50 countries, having 6 keynote speakers, 7 workshops and 143 paper/poster presentations.
The International CHRIE is a non-profit professional association with the aim of improving global hospitality and tourism education and research. It provides a platform for hospitality and tourism education network, setting the highest standards and uniting educators, industry executives and associations worldwide. Strathmore University, through the Centre for Tourism and Hospitality (CTH), is currently the only premium member in East Africa.
During the EuroCHRIE Dubai conference, Joy Goopio, Director of CTH, presented a poster on Relevance of Facilities Management in Hospitality Management Education. Her paper outlines the importance of assessing the quality of graduates to meet the needs of the industry, having the right mix of curricular content (theory and practice) that would prepare the students, as future hotel managers, to be competent to enter the workforce. Her study explores, among the specialised units in hospitality management, the role of facilities management in the hospitality industry and how the students perceive it to be relevant in their career.
Prior to the conference, Joy also attended the Train the Trainer session for the Certification in Hotel Industry Analytics which entitles her to train their students to take the international certification exam in hotel industry analytics.
Despite the fact that only 3 African countries were represented in the conference, Africas presence was felt by all. One of the well-attended workshops was on Charting the Future: Hospitality and Tourism Education in Africa. The workshop highlighted the challenges faced by hospitality and tourism education in Africa which includes: lack of quality standards, lack of quality curriculum, uncoordinated levels of education, few accredited providers, lack of industry relevance in course offerings, and lack of qualified and experienced staff. However, despite the challenges, the future of Africa is bright. World Bank (2013) has indicated that the potential for hospitality and tourism in Africa is positive and that 1 in every 25 people on the African continent can have employment in this industry.
The conference ended with a tour of the top hotels in Dubai, specifically the Burj Al Arab, known as the 7- star hotel.
In is welcome speech, the EuroCHRIE President encouraged the delegates with the following words:
While trends come and go, the art of hospitality is an everlasting constant. It is exactly this, making people feel welcome through personal interactions, which is the core of our programme. As educators in tourism and hospitality, we can therefore make a small, yet important, contribution to a better future world.