Hospitality Industry

A look into the future: Hospitality management studies after COVID-19

Michael Hartmann
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The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic was unexpected and has affected the whole world at its core. In addition to the health risks to guests and employees and the concern for the well-being of all, travel restrictions have hit the hospitality industry worldwide particularly hard.

Immense impact of the corona crisis on the hospitality industry

According to the World Trade Organization, world trade is expected to decline by 13% to 32% by 2020 as the COVID 19 pandemic affects regular economic activity and normal life around the world. The UN World Tourism Organization estimates that 75 million jobs are at risk worldwide, which corresponds to an expected 20-30% decline in international tourist flows.

In Switzerland, the picture is no better. According to the Swiss Tourism Federation, the tourism industry is facing massive sales losses and low capacity utilization throughout Switzerland. The probability of bankruptcy remains high at 23 percent because emergency loans can only secure liquidity in the short term. 3,200 businesses are threatened with closure and the loss of over 30,000 jobs.

The numbers of the COVID-19 pandemic are immense, both our lives and the economy are affected by the corona crisis like hardly ever before. This is especially true for the hospitality industry, which according to the World Travel & Tourism Council accounts for 10% of global GDP and provides 1 in 10 jobs worldwide. The tourism sector is one of the hardest hit economic sectors, but due to its relevance it will again be one of the main drivers for the upturn in the global economy and the recovery of the labour markets.

After an initial phase of corona crisis management, the big question now is what next?

Society and the economy are ailing and will inevitably have to reorient themselves. It is still unclear whether this will develop in a local or global, individualised or community direction. Leading experts such as the Zukunftsinstitut have drawn up various forecasts in this regard. The EHL Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality (EHL SSTH) in Passugg is basing its theses on a cautiously optimistic view.

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What lessons can we as a hospitality management school learn from the COVID-19 crisis?

In the Strategic Talk of the EHL Passugg, Michael Hartmann, Managing Director, specifically addresses this questions:

As a leading hotel management school, what do we want to pass on to our students who have decided on a career in the hospitality industry? How do we as experts see the hospitality education after COVID-19? And what kind of learnings can we, as a hotel management school, draw from this crisis?

In order to answer the question of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education providers in the hospitality industry and the new skills that will become relevant, EHL Passugg examined the most important triggers for increasing fragility on the one hand and the changed basic social values on the other. From this, measures to increase resilience and new skills requirements can be derived, which will be incorporated into the future curriculum of the hotel management school.

Find an overview in the following info graphic:

Infografik Strategic Talk Future of Hospitality Education after COVID-19


The EHL Lausanne Report forms the methodology behind the future theses

The basis for our considerations and the model according to the infographics is the Lausanne Report, which uses 6 scenarios and the so-called Smiley Model to illustrate what the hospitality industry will look like in 2030. The main objective of the Lausanne Report is to stimulate a debate on risks and opportunities. This debate is highly topical at the moment.

It is precisely in these uncertain times that the EHL Lausanne Report can contribute to a better understanding of what developments can be expected and help prepare for the future. This is when the ability to deal with fragility and respond to crises can lead to new resilience.

Find more information on the methodology here.


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