Wanderlust: a 21st-century word employed to sum up a strong desire to explore and travel the world. Travel has never been more accessible, from low-cost airlines to Airbnb, and we live in an age where hotel room prices can be compared at the click of a button with Expedia. From the moment our trip is booked, there is an app for all of our travel needs. From online check-in, airport guides, and Google map traffic alerts to TripAdvisor recommending the best spot to discover authentic, local cuisine or key cultural attractions to visit. Babel helps us converse with locals and Uber means never being stranded, even without local currency in our pockets.
Such is the trend for wanderlust that it has become its own pillar within the tourism industry. Social media is the perfect reflection of this, with Instagram accounts documenting travel and exploration seeing a surge in popularity. Accounts such as “Girl Eat World” has quickly amassed nearly four hundred thousand followers from 300 posts, featuring a beautiful picture of local scenery with a local dish or drink. A simple concept, yet one that epitomises current travel trends and the desire to discover local culture and seek pastures new.
While technology has progressed, one skill remains at the core of it all: the art of service. Essential touchpoints with customers occur at every step of their journey, whether face-to-face or via an app. At the end of the day, the customer experience is still the essential defining factor to a successful holiday. With TripAdvisor quick to offer customers the chance to voice their satisfaction and grievances, it is more important than ever before for the travel industry to maintain its reputation through a high standard of service. Fortunately, service is a skill that can be taught and has been for many years at some of the top hospitality management schools around the world.
To those in the know, Switzerland (renowned for cheese, skiing, chocolate, watches and luxury) has been celebrated as the gold standard in hospitality management education.
With the first hospitality management schools founded in Switzerland over 100 years ago, the demand for hospitality education is only strengthening over time. A hospitality education offers the chance to travel the world, work in exotic locations and discover cultures and gastronomic delights a world away from home. With beautiful locations dotted around Switzerland, schools such as Swiss Hotel Management School even offer students the chance to live and study in magnificent former palace hotels for a truly immersive experience.
With current, unstable economic times, graduates in recent years have struggled to find their footing in the job market compared to previous generations. Fortunately, hospitality management schools, once reserved for students looking to carve out a career as a luxury hotelier, now provide a broader, alternative solution for concerned students. A hospitality education undertakes a more practical approach, with a hands-on and “can do” attitude that is a breath of fresh air to the flailing job market. Unafraid of hard work and long hours, the rewards outweigh the pitfalls, as hospitality tends to attract a certain type of personality: outgoing, people-friendly and willing to go the extra mile and have, of course, a touch of wanderlust themselves.
With all of Swiss Education Group’s schools offering two internships of four to six months each during a student’s studies, graduates are job-market ready with up to a year’s work experience under their belt. Potential students and their parents alike are recognising the value of an international, broad-based education, offering up multiple transferable skills that can be applied to a variety of future professions.
With training in all aspects of hospitality management, graduates are fully operational from Day 1. Specialisations are also available to give students the opportunity to set up their own business or to be fully equipped to work in other industries, from private banking to luxury goods to sports event management. Such specialisations include Marketing, International Business, Event Planning, Human Resources and Finance, all offered by Swiss Education Group and their alliance of five schools across French and German-speaking Switzerland.
Included within their network is the Culinary Arts Academy, offering students the chance to combine culinary arts with entrepreneurship for ambitious culinary aspirations. While Switzerland may not spring to mind as an immediate contender, as of 2017 Switzerland has the highest number of Michelin stars per capita in Europe, with 117. With such a high calibre of restaurants available, Switzerland provides an ideal range of kitchen-based internships for future chefs as well as an ideal destination for wanderlust tourists.
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