The fifth “Hotel Management Conference on F&B” that took place recently, organized by Action for the Development of Tourism and Tourist Education (DR.A.T.T.E), was a success in highlighting the significance of the F&B (Food and Beverage) sector in the creation of a strong image for our tourism product. During the two-day conference held at the Athens Ledra Marriot an array of speakers provided their views and expertise on the topic.
The first session of the first day of the conference was dedicated to the creation of F&B outlets. Executive at the Maestro Group, Maria Karousi, and General Manager of Athens Park Hotel and Professor of MBA in Tourism at the University of Piraeus, Michael Vastardis, were the key speakers on this topic and analyzed the methods for the creation and operation of an F&B outlet and its subsequent effectiveness. Professor at the Food Technology and Diet school of the Technological Educational Institute of Athens (T.E.I), Dimitris Tsimbis, explained the new legal framework for safety and hygiene in the catering sector.
The second day focused on contemporary F&B trends. F&B Manager of Royal Olympic Hotel Kostas Afthinos spoke about F&B trends in the hotel sector, whilst cooking professor at the Organization of Tourism Education and Training (O.T.E.K) Chef Stefanos Heiladakis described the developments in gastronomical products. Top Chef Yiannis Baxevanis spoke about the past, present and future of the food sector and the traditional Greek kitchen, and aroused a plethora of questions and delegate discussion on market potential for the upgrade of F&B.
The most significant conclusion of the conference was that the F&B sector directly affects the image of the tourism product and constitutes an important issue for the hotel sector because of the specifics it entails. According to DR.A.T.T.E, “F&B in tourism must have the identity and value of the Greek cuisine with respect to both nutrition and taste.” This, according to the association and the speakers at the conference, demands a change in the existing mentality of members of the tourism sector who are called upon to make an investment in quality with a long-term aim for profit.
The conference closed with an address by its president of the DR.A.T.T.E union and the board of directors, Dr. Dimitrios Laloumis, on the problems faced by the hotel sector. Dr. Laloumis explained the problem of the lack of executives in the hotel sector and identified problems in tourism education such as reduced enrollment in tourism schools and a lack of interest from the Tourism Development Ministry and the Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs for specialization in tourism studies.
The conference was held with the support of Greek Travel Pages and GTP Direct E-mail, ΙΩΝ Publications and Berco Entertainment Company. DR.A.T.T.E is a non-profit association of executives in tourism enterprises and professors of third degree tourist education created with the aim of ensuring continued education and training in the travel sector.