Meeting hospitality’s evolving demands

Business Impact: Meeting hospitality’s evolving demands
Business Impact: Meeting hospitality’s evolving demands

Almost exactly 12 months ago, hospitality industry leaders from around the world highlighted the need to attract more professionals to the global hospitality sector, in a Sommet Education report, entitled The State of Hospitality 2022.

Specifically, the report uncovered the latest talent management issues in the hospitality industry, including employment and skills’ scarcity as well as the importance of ethical recruitment, diversity and inclusion.

It also identified some emerging talent areas that are needed – some of which relate to specific roles – and outlined what can be done by governments and other sector bodies to help organisations attract, develop and retain talent. In support of these issues, the role of  higher/business education institutions and other training actors featured prominently.

Echoing this sentiment, the authors of 2022’s updated The Future of Hospitality Management Education Report “clearly advocate higher education in hospitality management in the UK”. Commissioned by the Council for Hospitality Management Education in association with the Institute of Hospitality, this report also calls for greater collaboration between educators, professional bodies and businesses to seize the opportunity across Europe and beyond. 

Adapting and updating leaders’ knowledge

Hospitality management is constantly evolving and progressing in step with the acceleration of new technologies and customer demands. As the international hospitality business becomes ever more complex, its leaders need to adapt their approach and update their knowledge to stay ahead of the key issues and trends.

That is why ESSEC Business School (ESSEC) and Glion Institute of Higher Education (Glion) a business school specialising in hospitality and luxury professions, have joined forces to offer a flexible Global Executive Master’s degree in Hospitality Leadership. The programme is aimed at hospitality executives or career switchers who have already built a foundation of managerial experience and who now feel ready to move to the next level.

ESSEC benefits from a long expertise in hotel management training. Its flagship programme in this area is its master’s in hospitality management, known as IMHI for its original name of Institut du Management Hôtelier International, launched more than 40 years ago and has trained more than 1,700 managers who now occupy key roles in the sector. Glion, meanwhile, is a highly regarded hospitality management school with alumni that hold some of the most influential positions in the industry around the world.

The new master’s is a 12-month programme and is set to welcome its first participants in November 2023. It aims to help professionals access strategic positions and specialise in the sector with studies that can be combined with their working lives by means of a part-time digital format.

Areas of focus

At the heart of the programme are four 12-week flexible learning modules which zero in on the issues and challenges that dominate the agendas of international hospitality leaders today. For example, how strong is your intercultural management? As a manager within one of the most diverse of all industries, do you have the skills to get the best out of a team in which many cultures are represented? Other key leadership skills, such as change management and leading in VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) times, are also incorporated.

In addition, the programme will also encompass all the hard skills around operations, finance, technology, investment, marketing and economics that have to be part of the modern hospitality leader’s toolbox. With labour costs continuing to cause headaches amid the ongoing ‘war for talent’, it is vital for any business to get better at retaining and developing employees, as well as using their human resources in the most effective ways. This programme is therefore designed to enable ambitious and passionate professionals to train and transform themselves by acquiring cutting-edge knowledge, as well as soft skills that will empower them to be responsible and influential leaders in the hospitality industry who will then be able to combine value creation and sustainability.

Residential weeks and capstone project

Supporting the core distance learning modules are four residential weeks, which are held at Glion campuses in Montreux in Switzerland and London, as well as at ESSEC campuses in Paris-La Défense in France and Singapore. There are also bespoke masterclasses on topics that include the metaverse, blockchain technology and crisis management in hospitality.

After the 12-month taught curriculum, participants will have additional time to complete a business research project to earn their master’s degree, awarded jointly by Glion and ESSEC. Designed to be entrepreneurial, this project is at the heart of the programme’s learning approach – helping students contribute to future solutions as well as adapt to the changes and challenges facing the industry.

Hospitality is so much more than a business and people in the industry are more than a key success factor – they are the very heart of the industry’s DNA. Good education is, therefore, the best way to seize the new opportunities within hospitality’s evolving landscape.

Ashok Som

Ashok Som (pictured left) is academic director of the ESSEC-Glion Global Executive Master’s degree in Hospitality Leadership.
Francine Cuagnier is head of marketing at Glion Institute of Higher Education.

Francine Cuagnier

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