Mr. Ruud J. Reuland, Director General, Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne

1) Please tell something about your organization, key achievements and benefits you provide to global hoteliers?
The Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) was founded a hundred and sixteen years ago, and since then has never ceased to grow and innovate. During this time, the hospitality industry too has greatly evolved. It is now the fastest-growing economic sector in the world and is reaching out into many new business areas. In response to these rapid changes, EHL continually evaluates and updates its programmes to correspond to new industry needs.
EHL offers three academic programmes - a hospitality MBA, a Bachelor in international hospitality management, and a BTECH hospitality diploma – and tailor made executive education courses.

EHL is a key meeting point for the hospitality industry and the world of education. The hospitality industry contributes to EHL through input into its programmes. It works with the school on what to change in hospitality learning or on how to supplement courses in relation to new trends in the industry. It also contributes to EHL through its involvement in the professional development of EHL students. This presence helps the school to educate students who are attuned to industry needs, and who will become forceful and innovative hospitality managers and leaders.

But the flow of information works both ways. EHL is a centre for research, consulting and business development for hospitality and tourism worldwide. In this way, it synthesizes a wide range of information and creates new knowledge for development. EHL contributes to the hospitality industry as a driving force for change, actively contributing to its agenda.

2) How has the economy downturn affected your business? What steps have your taken to help hoteliers in this economy? Any special deal, discount, or offer?
Of course the current global economic situation has made growth in all industries challenging. The school participates in many global hotel investment conferences and the mood at these events is one of guarded optimism. Properties that are currently in development will be built but some of those that are in an organization’s pipeline are on hold. Available capital for hotel investment is tough to come by at the present but as in any economic cycle, this downturn will rebound and therefore development in the industry will begin again. People will always travel for pleasure and business, which means that growth will continue, in particular when we also consider the developments in emerging countries such as China, India and Eastern Europe.

During challenging economic situations, the importance of education becomes even more evident. People take the time to study and strengthen their academic background when needed. In that context, difficult times are an opportunity for EHL.

To support concretely our students, we have launched in 2008 an important scholarship fund that helps our best talented candidates who would come to EHL for financial reasons.

Furthermore we believe it is our mission to assist the students, also when they are graduated, in the challenge to start a career in this fascinating industry. This means that our responsibility does not end at the end of the studies of our students. We have created in our school the necessary support services to make sure that our students, as of the beginning of their study, start thinking about their ambitions and aspirations and the way they can add value to the hospitality industry.

3) What do you see as the future of Hotel industry? What major trends will impact hotel business in coming 20 years?
We see 3 major trends: growth, green and great.

As I mentioned earlier growth of our industry will continue, inbound and outbound travel to and from emerging countries such as India, china south Americas, eastern Europe etc will increase with the implications for the hospitality sector. We see also growth in another direction: growth of the hospitality function in service related sectors such as banks, hospitals, retail.. Hospitality is not any more the prerogative for the hotel industry.

As a consequence of the growth the green issue will become even more dominant: how can we make sure that our globe is able to absorb the increase of travel and tourism: more local/regional travel, customers expect that our industry is green, invest in energy saving, water and waste management, propose local ingredients and bio food.

And last but not least: great. The guest of tomorrow will be more and more demanding. He expects a true experience, regardless the number of stars of the hotel or the luxury of the restaurant. There will be more room for independent, niche hotels and restaurants, Brands will not automatically dominate industry.

Growth, green and great means that industry need many, responsible and talented people. Passion for the industry, for hospitality remains key.

In terms of trends – what we have seen over the past several years is a move away from the “cookie cutter” style hotels to a more individual style property – and that not only means the design of the property but also the style of service. Brands have taken over the major global city centre hotels but they have done so with hotels that fit with the geography and culture of their destination. People still desire the comfort of a known brand but want that brand to “fit” with where they are visiting.

4) What benefits and key advantages you offer over competition? Why should over readers consider doing business with you?
Our unique educational philosophy, which bases learning both on science and art is the best possible preparation for hospitality management. Although the “science” or business aspect is essential, learning the “art” of management is something that distinguishes us from other business schools. EHL has known from the start that focusing on the arts is a way of nurturing creativity, breaking the usual moulds of thinking and encouraging innovation.

Today, even without talking about the power of our brand, EHL is accredited at university level both nationally and internationally. EHL is recognized by the Swiss government as part of Switzerland’s University of Applied Sciences (HES-SO). Internationally, it is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

Accreditation is an official recognition of quality and the guarantee that EHL is successfully accomplishing its mission. The accreditation process means that we have carried out an extensive self-evaluation study before being assessed by visiting accreditation teams. Accredited degrees will allow students to apply for advanced study in other top universities. They also carry weight for future employers who can be assured of the high quality and rigorous nature of your studies.

The student selection process at EHL is also very detailed. The school spends a lot of time and effort analysing each candidate to ensure that those who are admitted are not only the academic “crème de la crème”, but also have the special “hospitality” personality that makes our graduates so special.

And speaking of which, last but not least, with over 25,000 alumni located in over 120 countries, EHL has one of the most widely international, professionally experienced and socially active alumni networks of any hospitality management school in the world today.

The eagerness of alumni to help one another is one of the most precious advantages of an EHL education. Our alumni occupy some of the most fascinating and influential positions in the global hospitality industry. You will find them leading positions in practically every category of the hospitality industry, from individual hotels and restaurants to chains and industry suppliers, or in affiliated fields including banks and financial institutions, as well in as many other businesses with a hospitality facet.

5) Do you provide E-commerce or online payment facility? Can our readers book your products or services online?
Yes, all our admissions process starts online and potential students often discover EHL first through our website

For more information: Call: +41 21 785 13 54 Fax: +41 21 785 11 21 or

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