Historically, hospitality was the art of welcoming travelers with a place to sleep and a meal, and inn keepers were the very first hospitality managers.
Hospitality is one of the world’s time-honored tradition of customer service. From the rough inns and taverns of ancient times to the plush suites and fine-dining of modern hotels and restaurants, hospitality has evolved a great deal. But those changes are nothing compared to what’s happening these days.
Thousands of years ago, when road networks were scarce and traveling was cumbersome strangers arriving in a foreign land had to rely on either their camping skills or a local’s kindness when looking for shelter. During the age of pilgrimage and the development of major trade routes throughout Europe, it was mostly inns and taverns offering primitive rooms to weary travelers. The idea of a hotel built for the sole purpose of hosting guests did not exist in Europe until the 18th century, when technological progress and the introduction of faster and more reliable modes of transport made long distance travel available to wider public. With the influx of large numbers of foreigners into major cities, the need for accommodation led to the opening of the first hotels in the modern sense. Since then, the sector has known a nearly unbroken run of growth and international expansion.
Away from home, surrounded by strangers and yet you feel welcome. The original idea of hospitality has remained unchanged since the creation of the word itself. Derived from the Latin word “hospes”, meaning both visitor and stranger, hospitality has its roots in ancient history.
What is the hospitality and tourism industry?
The hospitality and tourism industry includes many sub-sectors that are open to hospitality management graduates. The following list shows the closely related hospitality and tourism industry sectors.
- Accommodation: hotels, resorts, vacation rentals, camping, etc.
- Food & beverage: restaurants, night clubs, franchises, catering, food trucks
- Travel: airlines, cruise ships, private jets and charters
- Tourism: excursions, tour packages, destination management
- Events: festivals, concerts, conferences, fashion shows, etc.
- Sports & recreation: international competitions, private clubs, rentals, retail
What is hospitality management?
In the late 1800’s, the concept of leisure tourism and hospitality spread across Europe, bringing flocks of wealthy travelers to Switzerland. It began with visitors seeking cultural and natural exposure on guided tours in the Swiss Alps, train rides and wellness tourism. Palace-style hotels, thermal baths and ski resorts became icons of luxury tourism in Switzerland. This new generation of wealthy guests had higher expectations for comfortable accommodations, convenient services and fine dining. The leisure travel phenomenon gave birth to hospitality management schools: EHL was founded in 1893 in Lausanne, and pioneered in hospitality education since then.