Hospitality means extending a welcome to travelers or offering a home away from home, and the word is derived from the Latin word “hospes” meaning visitor or stranger. The hospitality and tourism industry is a vast sector that includes all the economic activities that directly or indirectly contribute to, or depend upon, travel and tourism. This industry sector includes:

  • Hotels & Resorts
  • Restaurants & Catering
  • Night Clubs & Bars
  • Travel & Transportation
  • Tourism
  • Spas & Wellness
  • Cruise Liners & Bus tours
  • Events (Private, Business, Cultural & Sports)

The History of Hospitality & Tourism 

Hospitality is one of the oldest businesses, going way back to the innkeepers and taverns of biblical times. Tourism, on the other hand, is a more recent invention which began in Europe, with Switzerland being one of the first countries to develop special accommodation and services for travelers. 

In the late 1800’s, the concept of leisure tourism and hospitality spread across Europe, bringing flocks of wealthy travelers to Switzerland. It began with visitors seeking cultural and natural exposure on guided tours in the Swiss Alps, train rides and wellness tourism. Palace-style hotels, thermal baths and ski resorts became icons of luxury tourism in Switzerland.

This new generation of wealthy guests had higher expectations for comfortable accommodations, convenient services and fine dining. The leisure travel phenomenon gave birth to hospitality management schools: EHL was founded as the first hotel management school in 1893 in Lausanne, and it has pioneered in hospitality education since then.

Hospitality is one of the most resilient, adaptable and dynamic industries on the planet. It is an industry of constant change, where technology and innovation are being integrated to improve the guest experience.
Young female manager talking to the head cook standing in a professional kitchen

What is Hospitality and Tourism Management?

Hospitality management is a broad career field that provides many opportunities for international career progression. In the core of the hospitality industry alone (hotels, events, restaurants, etc.) graduates with a hospitality degree can become managers in a variety of departments and sectors, or choose to specialize in one area.

The career paths are as diverse as the industry, and with so many new hospitality concepts and innovation changing the industry, the career paths will continue to grow and evolve with technology and trends of the 21st.

Hospitality education at EHL teaches students to love learning because it takes a scientific approach that sparks curiosity and involves the five senses. 

What are Hospitality Management Skills?

In the field of hospitality management, customer satisfaction is key, and the primary goal is to ensure the best customer experience possible. Therefore, hospitality management courses teach both professionally-focused hard skills (room pricing, cost-control, accounting, scheduling, etc. ) and soft skills which are related to how one acts, and interacts in a professional environment.

Training for soft-skills is critical to succeed in the 21st century: critical thinking, agility and adaptability, effective communication, imagination and curiosity: these are all skills students develop at EHL in our hospitality management courses and degrees.