The world is your oyster

The worldwide hospitality market is growing rapidly – investing in the best education offers a great return, says the Swiss Education Group


The hospitality sector is growing fast – and offering new career opportunities for the brightest and the best. The World Tourism Organization says the number of international tourist arrivals is expected to grow from one billion in 2010 to more than 1.8 billion by 2030.

In China alone, hotel revenue will rise from $39 billion last year to $56.2 billion by 2017, according to market research consultancy IBIS World. Those investing in hospitality training and education are already finding their skills much sought after.

Jennifer Lombard Knight, a graduate of the Swiss Hotel Management School (SHMS), knows the excitement of an international career in the hospitality industry. The 26 year old from London, who was recently named Young Hotelier of the Year in the Middle East, is currently working as front office manager at the InterContinental Hotel, Doha – The City.

Commenting on the international nature of her work, she says: “There are no limits to the lessons that each culture can bring. The truly remarkable aspect of the diverse cultures within our business is that each culture plays a vital role in our guest experience as well as within the culture of our teams.”

Those investing in hospitality training and education are already finding their skills much sought after

The Swiss Education Group enjoys close relationships with hotel chains, including Hyatt, Fairmont, Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton, which attend the twice-yearly International Recruitment Forum, and is one of reasons students choose to study with SEG. The group’s curriculum is carefully balanced between theory and practice. Students are required to gain industry experience of between eight to twelve months during their first two years of study.

“I did my first internship at Claridge’s in London and it was a phenomenal experience in such an iconic property and with such high service expectations,” says 21-year-old Euan Cunningham, a second-year student from Melrose in Scotland. “At SHMS, the connections I am making are so important. I don’t know if the person I’m sitting next to will one day be the director of a chain of hotels or the general manager of a palace hotel.”

Practical experience, high standards of teaching and dedication to the job are key, as Ms Lombard Knight explains: “The hospitality industry, like no other, will allow you to experience every aspect of what makes any business truly successful from HR to operations to sales; your passion will shine through in your work. With dedicated hospitality educational institutions, such as SHMS in Switzerland, there would be no better culture in which to grow and develop as a future hotelier.”

The Swiss Education Group is one of Switzerland’s leading hospitality educators, offering a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. With five schools and seven campuses, SEG offers unprecedented career opportunities to students. For more information please visit: www.swisseducation.com