HTMi Switzerland saw the closure of another highly successful 23rd International Hospitality and Tourism Research Conference that took place took on place 21st and 22nd November 2019 at our campus in beautiful Sörenberg. The theme of the conference was “Gastronomy and the importance of sustainable food policies”.

The dynamics of the hospitality and tourism industry are shifting rapidly. As the sector strives to become more sustainable, there is a need of more research in the area. Leading by example, the 23rd International Research Conference organised by HTMi focused on gastronomy and sustainable food policies. Over 110 students and staff met last week to discuss, share and work together on this vital topic. Renowned industry leaders and academics well versed in sustainability practices joined the students and staff.

Dr. Sinead Furey of Ulster University, Northern Ireland also contributed to the sustainability theme with an excellent presentation that explored the various facets of food poverty and offered some interesting solutions that had the audience thinking further about food waste.

Mr. Beppo Buchanan Smith of Ardfin Consultants Scotland spoke of the challenges associated with setting up a new 5 star luxury hotel that has just been built on a remote Scottish Island. Mr Buchannan Smith spoke of licensing issues, development of a new brand, marketing, recruitment and a myriad of other associated challenges.

Mr. Cesidio I Ciaccia – introduced us to an ambitious regeneration programme that he is leading in the town of Picinisco in the Lazio region of Italy. He showed us how a centuries old building could be redeveloped to suit contemporary needs to set up a school of gastronomy and redevelop indigenous grapes to produce a range of top quality wines.

Ms. Mattie Yeta, Lead on Sustainability, of the UK governments DEFRA (Department for the Environment, Fisheries and Rural Affairs) spoke passionately of Sustainability issues and how we as individuals can make a difference in our daily lives that will provide a collective impact on some climate change concerns.

Mrs. Anita Robbin lecturer in home economics in Switzerland spoke of a backpack for life and her discourse explained how young people can be taught better ways to manage their food, cooking and reduce waste. This was a thoughtful presentation that made us consider the efforts made to produce some foodstuffs that are not sustainable and the message was, its not too late to change our eating habits.

The conference also gave our MSc. and BSc. students the opportunity to present their own research topics to an audience of international academics and industry professionals. We would like to thank all our guest speakers and our BSc. and MSc. students for creating an inspiring and educational environment to learn more about the combination between research and the hospitality industry.

Bernie Quinn, PFHEA, HTMi International Academic Director, November 2019