Servus from Vienna! While the autumn season is slowly but surely arriving, we are looking back at a very special conference week of the 41st EuroCHRIE 2023 hosted in Vienna from 3-6 October 2023. It has been special for many different reasons, to share a few keywords on this year’s EuroCHRIE 2023 edition, it was all about engagement, inspiration, passion, flexibility, local and meaningful experiences.
It has been such an amazing conference! With 262 registrations representing 35 countries worldwide, a true EuroCHRIE week – representing delegates from all our different continents. As expected, the majority were from Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The conference started far before the registration and opening ceremony. Why, you may wonder? Well because of the incredible conference team, who designed an entire pre-conference journey by sharing great blog post updates, an engaging pre-arrival welcome note and having the EuroCHRIE 2023 app ready before the conference started.
A huge token of appreciation to the hospitable, engaging, inspiring and supporting conference team, conference host FHWIEN der WKW. You truly underlined the slogan of Vienna, ‘the city of dreams’ – you made our EuroCHRIE 2023 dreams come true and even managed to have the autumn sun out every single day.
Through the conference theme ‘Changing Realities. New Opportunities.’ an insightful conference program was designed and executed. It allowed for a chance to discuss the effects of change on hospitality and tourism education in the coming years. This started with a motivating pre-conference day including informative PhD and research workshops, an editor’s session as well as industry workshops and a CHRIE Global Research Marathon in collaboration with JHTR. The conference was officially opened and started with two interesting keynotes. Starting with Susanne Kraus Winkler (State Secretary for Tourism) on the conference theme of ‘ Changing Realities. New Opportunities’. Followed by Norbert Kettner (CEO Vienna Tourist Board) who shared his insights on new approaches to destination marketing and place making. The second conference day started off with keynotes from Dr. Petra Stolba (Head of Cabinet at the European Parliament) and Steve Hood (Senior VP Research, STR). They explored the challenges for the hospitality and tourism sectors in their presentations: balancing growth and the wider economic impact of our industries alongside the sustainability agenda. On the last conference day, the day was welcomed through a Panel Discussion on Managerial & New Work Realities. See presentations.
The three conference days included an interactive and engaging program with paper sessions around the conference theme tracks of Educational Realities, Managerial & New Work Realities, Sustainable Realities, Urban Tourism Realities and Digital Realities. Next to paper sessions the conference hosted 17 workshops connecting to one of the earlier mentioned conference theme tracks. Not only did they vary from theme track, also a large variation was noticeable in the delivery mode of the workshops; some were actually ‘work-shops’, others were set up as interactive panel discussions led by the audience, and some actual ‘field work’ was shown in the ‘shop’. To further inform and inspire the audience around relevant topics connected to the conference theme, the welcoming hall boasted poster presentations the entire conference week. Did you know that most of the 28 posters and abstracts are available online? Take a look here for posters and here for abstracts, happy reading!
On the last conference day traditionally, the AGM was hosted and followed by a second edition of EuroCHRIE Connect, inviting the EuroCHRIE community to connect to the EuroCHRIE Board of Directors and share how you can be supporting and supported to get the most out of your membership. The last part of the official conference program mentioned ‘Conference Wrap-Up’ through the EuroCHRIE 2023 app. A new initiative coming from the Board of Directors, where through the different board perspectives a wrap up was provided. Not just a wrap up, the verbal wrap up was visually presented through means of a graphic summary – that deserves virtual applause.
Aside the revealing conference keynotes, paper sessions, workshops and creative posters the entire conference experience made a real mark through the special designed social activities. They served as a true glue or better ‘traditional Viennese horseradish sauce’ between the conference and allowed the delegates to get to know Vienna. From a night at the Prater – yes this included a ride on the Giant Ferries Wheel as well as a challenging session at the autodrom to celebrate the first-time attendees and welcome reception, to experiencing a true Wiener Würstlstand. Then the grand finale – let’s truly take some space to announce the special Gala Dinner, as mentioning ‘just’ a Gala Dinner does not do full justice to what the end of the conference celebration was about. A gala dinner hosted at the Vienna Townhall in the main ballroom – yes, a true ballroom feeling surrounded by ‘Empress Sissi’ herself.
The Gala Dinner traditionally hosted the Award Ceremony led by Chair of the Awards Committee Immediate Past President Peter Russell. Extending special congratulations to the award winners of EuroCHRIE 2023. Congratulations Anders Justenlund with the EuroCHRIE Presidents Award. To Elizabeth M. Ineson for winning the EuroCHRIE Bridging the Gap Award. To the Austrian Convention Bureau for winning the EuroCHRIE Regional Industry Award. Institut Lyfe Research Award winning authors Luciano Viverit, Daniele Contessi, Luis Nobre Pereira, Cindy Yoonjoung Heo of conference paper ‘An Interpretable Machine Learning Method for Hotel Demand Forecasting’ – sponsored by Institute Lyfe. To winning poster authors Lars Falk and Jan Halberg Madsen of poster “Competences and Skills Among Small and Medium-Sized Tourism Businesses at a Rural Destination Post-COVID – The Case of Destination Limfjorden, Denmark”. To the student team of The University of Rijeka Croatia for winning the 2023 EuroCHRIE University Challenge Award – delivered and sponsored by Russell Partnership Technology. For further inspiration and information have a look at the award overview here.
Also we wish to take a moment to thank our valuable sponsors without whom the conference would not have been realized as it did: American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, Belvedere, CESIM, Cloudbeds, EuroCHRIE, FHWIEN der WKW, Russell Partnership Technology, ServSafe, and STR/CoStar SHARE Center.
While we are still enjoying the post-conference experience as the leaves keep falling, we are getting ready for our next year’s EuroCHRIE 42nd conference. We are excited to announce that EuroCHRIE 2024 will be taking place 4-7 November 2024 in Doha, Qatar hosted by Al Rayan International University College in partnership with University of Derby. The conference theme is ‘Hospitality and Tourism in a New Era: Building Bridges and Overcoming Challenges’, stay tuned for more to come through our EuroCHRIE website.
Remember that the time has come to renew your International CHRIE membership, or if you have not joined yet become a new member, check the options here.
As the post-conference experience has come, we invite you to keep reliving your memories. The conference website EuroCHRIE 2023 Vienna remains alive (with some great video, photo and conference summary content) that will support creating and feeding your memories. Stay in touch to get ready to meet in Doha! Naturally always welcome to explore our EuroCHRIE website for further information and updates.
With a heart filled with gratitude,
Vice-President EuroCHRIE (and Conference Host EuroCHRIE 2023 Vienna)