Travel industry experts, tourism ministers, representatives of UNWTO and the international press were all present at the awards ceremony of the world’s largest travel fair ITB. The PATWA (Pacific Area Travel Writers Association) Award is presented annually to individuals and organisations which drive tourism in aviation, the hotel industry and travel firms. Hans Wiedemann is being honoured for his contribution to the hotel industry with first prize in the category “Best CEO of the year – hospitality”. This is the second PATWA award he has received, the first being the “Hall of Fame – Lifetime Contribution in the hospitality industry” in 2013.
In the worldwide hotel industry Hans Wiedemann, who was “Hotelier of the Year 2007” and “Hotelier of the World 2009”, is considered a top hotel manager with tremendous expertise. After graduating from the renowned hotel technical college in Lausanne he had several positions in Switzerland then moved to Asia. There he was hotel director in a 600-roomed hotel before he followed his career path to Australia where he stayed for 13 years, managed five top hotels and won the national award for 'Excellence in Service’. In 1995 Wiedemann returned to Europe and directed the “Montreux Palace Hotel” for nine years, which gained a new-found fame thanks to the successful hotelier.
The Managing Director of Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, well-known for his great spirit and optimism, has been at the helm of the “Grande Dame” of St. Moritz since 2004. Wiedemann states, “Service is our highest commandment.” After seven years in the traditional hotel dating back to 1896, he introduced butler service and today many additional services are offered to guests, such as ski passes. This attitude to service also convinced Hansjürg Badrutt, who decided that Hans Wiedemann would one day take over as majority shareholder. The hotel director saw this honour as his purpose in life and is determined to remain independent. On 1st February 2018 Hans Wiedemann retired and handed over the operational running of the hotel but he will still be part of the hotel for some time yet as Delegate of the Board.
Wiedemann not only encourages and motivates his staff but also shows his engagement to the hotel industry in his role of International Advisory Board Member at the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne and in previous managerial roles such as President of Leading Hotels of the World in Switzerland. In addition, Wiedemann was on the management council of the Swiss Hotel Archive, board member of Swiss Deluxe Hotels and Swiss National Delegate of EHMA (European Hotel Managers Association).
PATWA was founded in 1998 at the PATA conference (Pacific Asia Travel Association) in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The founding philosophy of this association is to support responsible travel journalism in the Asia Pacific region, sustainable growth and to improve the quality of travel and tourism. PATWA adheres to PATA’s aims, as well as the fundamental principles of UNESCO, the UN and the World Tourism Organisation.
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