The Lebanese American University (LAU) Adnan Kassar School of Business (AKSOB) and the AKSOB Hospitality and Tourism Management Department have honored the achievements and contributions of 12 of Lebanon’s hospitality industry leaders. Their accomplishments were recognized at a gala dinner held at the LAU Beirut campus with the theme “From Lebanon to the World”.
The honorees included:
- Pierre Achkar – President of Hotels Syndicates
- Nicholas Audi – Founder of Audi Catering
- Nizar Choucair – CEO and founder of Patchi Chocolate
- Nouhad Dammous – Co-founder of HORECA Lebanon and Editor in Chief of Hospitality News Middle East
- Zeina Frem – President of Jouneih Festival
- Andreas Llovits – Owner of Pitch Black
- Pamela Mansour Mehanna and Ramzi Mattar – Owners of MINE Wedding and Events
- Elie Nakhal – CEO of Nakhal Travel
- Tony Ramy – President of Syndicate of Owners of Restaurants, Cafes, Nightclubs, and Pastries
- Mazen Salha and Marwan Salha – Owners of Phoenicia Hotel Beirut
One the country’s most renowned hospitality veterans, Nouhad Dammous, expressed his overwhelming joy at receiving this recognition. “I have dedicated my life to hospitality and to this country. Lebanon is a small country, yet has an extraordinary degree of influence. Anyone would be amazed by the talent, potential and energy of its people. We must increase awareness about the importance of empowering tomorrow’s talent and developing the creative and innovative potential of young people throughout the education and training sector,” he said.
“The tourism sector has always reflected Lebanon’s best image and the restaurants sector has the lion’s share in marking Lebanon on the international tourism map. I am positive that the restaurants, cafés, night-clubs, and pastries owners are keen on serving the best quality, value and taste. I would like to thank the Lebanese American University, headed by its President Dr. Joseph Jabra for this exquisite honoring ceremony, and I dedicate the award to the board of directors of the Syndicate as well as to my colleagues in the sector. Cordial and sincere thanks go to the students of Hospitality Management who have shown a high professionalism and a great hospitality, proving their excellent level and readiness to enter this sector assertively,” said Tony Ramy.
The LAU Hospitality and Tourism Management Program prepares students to be leaders in a global dynamic workplace, especially though hands-on application. To prepare for this event, the hospitality students took a course on event management, which addresses all of the issues related to the organization and implementation of a successful gala dinner or mega event.
The hospitality and tourism industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world (10% of the world’s GDP) and employing around 8% of the global workforce (UNWTO, 2015). In Lebanon, the hospitality and tourism industry currently accounts for 21.1% of Lebanon’s GDP and provides abundant employment opportunities in various types of tourism activities.