AMFORHT International Conference at Institut Lyfe: a resounding success in Lyon, France

AMFORHT International Conference at Institut Lyfe: a resounding success in Lyon, France

AMFORHT International Conference held at Institut Lyfe in Lyon, marked a significant milestone for the global tourism and hospitality community.

With a diverse audience representing nearly all continents, the conference brought together students, faculty and renowned figures from the industry. They delved into pressing issues and opportunities.

Dr. Belgat, president of AMFORHT, launched the event, which was attended by distinguished figures. Indeed, the guestlist included Natalia Bayona, the UNWTO executive director, Siandou Fofana, Ivory Coast’s minister of tourism, Francesco Frangialli, former UNWTO secretary general, and Jean-Pierre Lozato-Giotart, consultant expert culture-tourism next to the European Council.

Key Highlights

1)Emerging Challenges of Sustainable Tourism and the Role of Education and Training
Discussions centered on the dynamic landscape of sustainable tourism,. Thus, highlighting the significance of education and training in addressing these challenges.

2)The Role and Place of Women in World Tourism
This panel spotlighted the vital contributions of women in the tourism sector, Furthermore, it explored avenues to enhance their involvement.

Insights from these panels will shape AMFORHT’s 2024 strategy, Thus, enhancing the organization’s effectiveness in meeting global expectations.

Natalia Bayona, UNWTO Executive Director, outlined current priorities in her speech. She emphasized the UNWTO’s commitment to sustainability and comprehensive education initiatives at all levels.

Denis Sorin, the new chairman AMFORHT Middle East, stated: “The AMFORHT International Conference was a great success. A major part of it was the Natalia Bayona, UNWTO executive director’s speech. Furthermore, she made us better understand why tourism and hospitality are important to the sustainable future of the planet. Thus, why AMFORHT has a chief role to play”.

Djibril Fofona, the new general secretary, added: “Sharing our mission with experts coming from many countries it’s an honor”.

Xaver Gret, newly appointed general delegate AMFORHT North America, stated: “AMFORHT proves again its essential role in national and international tourism.”

As a UNWTO affiliate with Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC), AMFORHT is poised to continue impactful contributions to the industry in 2024 and beyond.


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Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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