Switzerland,the pioneer country in hotel management education and training has more than a century of history in preparing world leaders for the hotel business. Hotel and tourism management education started in Switzerland, with the opening of the first hotel school in the world the ‘Scots Hoteliere de Lausanne”. For decades, a large percentage of hotel managers throughout the world were graduates of this school and this fact has greatly contributed to the reputation of hospitality education in Switzerland.
Although the tourism industry from the late 19th century through the years during and after World War Two was not active on a large scale, being available only for the rich and wealthy. today it has become the largest economic factor in the world.
Swiss hotel schools became famous due to the combination of practical and theoretical education and training, through their dedication to professionalism and discipline ha multicultural environment. Joining a Swiss hotel school, means joining something like the United Nations of hoteliers, and many of the best hotel managers in the world have been trained and educated in Switzerland.
It should be noted that all hotel schools in Switzerland are private, many of them are under the supervision of Professional associations, such as the Swiss Hotel Association, the Restaurant Association, the Union of Hotel Workers, and others are operated by private companies.
Students cannot graduate from the Swiss schools without having completed some practical work experience in a hotel or. restaurant.
These practical training periods vary from 6 months to one year and usually take place in the Swiss hospitality industry. This is not the case with hotel management school, in other countries of the world. Often hospitality management degrees are offered by larger universities, but these programs generally lack the professional component and practical training. In other countries one can find excellent hotel schools preparing students to become chefs, headwaiters, and room division managers. Those schools, however, lack the management and academic training that Swiss school provide.
Programs at different Swiss schools vary a lot in their content. The Swiss federal government recognizes schools at two levels, first the diploma level and degree level. The diploma level school have programs of two to three years. whereas the degree level programs take three to four years, depending on the level Of competence at the point of entry.
Most of the schools have a large variety of and races among their student bodies. Alumni are spread over the globe and create a real network of hospitality professional.