The EHMA's 33rd General Meeting was held in the capital of Hungary from 2 to 5 February 2006, organized by hotels Sofitel Budapest and InterContinental Budapest. István Kovács, the General Manager of hotel Sofitel Budapest is a member of the association since 1988, Michael Koth, the General Manager of hotel InterContinental since 2003. The entire EHMA Management Council was in attendance in the Hungarian capital, including President Jean-Henri Antoine (France), First Vice-President Johanna Fragano (Italy) and Vice-President Chris Tzianos (Greece and Cyprus).
The 33rd EHMA conference, sponsored by the Hungarian Tourism Board, took place in the hotel Sofitel Budapest, and the main focus of this meeting was the profitability of the hotel food and beverage departments. Besides the interesting sessions, the Organizing Committee prepared an exciting programme to discover Budapest.
The agenda on February 2nd (University Day) began with a press conference, followed by a seminar led by Michael Nowlis, "Hotel Food Beverage at the dawn of the 21st century: profit centre or necessary evil?", on the subject of innovative management techniques and creative concepts that are revolutionizing the organization of the food and beverage sector in the world-class hotel industry. The official opening of the event was held in the Hungarian Parliament, while the welcome dinner took place in the Museum of Ethnography.
February 3rd was dedicated to Leadership, with a presentation of the Hungarian tourism industry by Dr Ákos Niklai, President of the Board of the Hungarian National Tourist Office, after the official welcome by the Mayor of Budapest Dr Gábor Demszky . Later in the day, presentations were given by Jean-Luc Naret, director of the Michelin Guides, Tasos Ioannidis, Chris Norton and Martin Hawthornthwaite on various issues of interest for the industry, [Followed by a panel discussion on the impact of technology in the hospitality industry]. In the evening participants could enjoy Hungarian folk traditions at the Lázár Equaestrian Park, Domonyvölgye, with an equaestrian show, folk music and dinner.
February 4th was the day dedicated to the official General Meeting, with EMHA's General Assembly taking place in the Ballroom of the Sofitel. In the evening, an extraordinary organ concert was offered in the Saint Stephen's Basilica, and finally, during the closing Gala Dinner held in the Ballroom of the Hotel InterContinental Mr. Emanuel Berger, Managing Director of the Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel and Spa in Interlaken, Switzerland received the prestigious European Hotel Manager of the Year 2005 Award" for outstanding professional work accomplished, meaning his continued striving for innovation, his engagement in the hotel industry as well as achievement of successful results.
Both five-star luxury hotels were the perfect venues to host this important event. They are located in the most beautiful part of the Hungarian capital, on the banks of the river Danube, right next to the symbol of Budapest, the Chain Bridge. The hotels are famous for their breathtaking view of the Royal Castle, built on the opposite side of the river. They are only a few steps away from the business district, the streets featuring the most fashionable shops, and near the National Opera House and the Music Hall.