In 2024, Swiss Hotel Management School continues to be a beacon of innovation and education, shaping hospitality leaders who are poised to excel in the dynamic landscape of hospitality. With the world awakening to a reinvigorated hospitality and tourism sector, driven by global events and a surge in experiential luxury, hospitality educated professionals are more important than ever to lead and define the hospitality industry in 2024 and beyond.
2024 promises to be a year of remarkable growth and transformation for the ever-evolving industries of hospitality and tourism. Swiss Hotel Management School (SHMS) is at the forefront, preparing students to excel in this dynamic environment, with innovative approaches and cutting-edge tools at our disposal. The sky is the limit! For now, we explore the current state of hospitality in 2024, shedding light on the industry's resurgence, the influence of technology, major global events, and projections for a luxury experience boom.
So, what does Hospitality and Tourism in 2024 look like?
The Hospitality industry continues to experience a resurgence in 2024 surpassing even pre-pandemic levels. As the world gradually recovers from the challenges of the past few years, travelers are eager to explore new horizons, and the demand for hospitality services is higher than ever. This renewed enthusiasm for travel has translated into increased opportunities for hospitality professionals.
At the last International Recruitment Forum (IRF), SHMS students received an average of six offers per person for internships and job positions, the highest in the history of the school. This demonstrates how careers in hospitality are more lucrative than ever, and the importance of educated hospitality professionals to lead the way during this exciting time.
As we will discuss later, the opportunities in hospitality extend beyond working in hotels. Demand for hospitality-educated individuals are high in events, luxury, and other sectors as well. Once again, companies reiterate that it is more important now, more than ever, to have employees who excel in soft skills.
One notable aspect of this hospitality surge is the prominent role played by technology. More than ever, technology and artificial intelligence is impacting the way people experience hospitality. SHMS is taking significant strides in educating future leaders who can harness technology's potential in our industry. Among the innovative tools is the use of hospitality robots, which work in tandem with professionals to give the highest level of care to customers. These robots are revolutionizing guest services, from automated check-ins to room service deliveries, enhancing the overall guest experience.
Despite the role of technology in every aspect of today’s world, these advancements in the hospitality industry actively highlight the need for people and the benefits of human interaction when it comes to addressing customer needs, and the advantage of having people alongside robots. We are at the precipice of brand new career paths in hospitality and tourism that are dedicated to new technology in the industry in the same way that IT technicians and programmers have permeated every economic sector in the world.
In terms of events, 2024 is marked by a series of significant global events that have a profound impact on the hospitality industry. These events present unique opportunities for event management professionals and luxury hospitality services--careers that the Bachelor of Arts at SHMS prepare students study for when they choose the event management specializations.
Some of the noteworthy events in 2024 are included in the following list:
1. Summer Olympics in Paris, France: The Summer Olympics draw millions of spectators and athletes from around the world, creating a surge in demand for accommodation and event management services, and this year the Olympics are right next door to Switzerland, home of both of our SHMS campuses as well the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne. Hospitality professionals are crucial for ensuring that hotels, resorts, and temporary lodgings are efficiently managed to provide a comfortable stay for attendees.
Event managers play a vital role in planning and executing various aspects of the Olympics, including opening and closing ceremonies, sports competitions, and cultural events. Their expertise is essential in coordinating complex logistics, such as transportation, security, and ticketing. SHMS graduates are well-prepared to excel in managing the logistics of such mega-events.
2. Paralympics: We also cannot forget the Paralympics, which often follow the Olympic Games. The sporting event prioritizes inclusivity, making accessibility a top concern. Hospitality professionals and event managers work together to ensure that venues, accommodations, and transportation options are fully accessible to athletes and spectators with disabilities. The Paralympics provides an opportunity for showcasing inclusivity and accessibility in hospitality, making it an important focus area for industry professionals.
3. T20 World Cup (Cricket) in the US: Cricket enthusiasts worldwide will flock to the US for this prestigious tournament, and the hospitality sector will play a pivotal role in ensuring their experience is unforgettable. Event managers such as those who have studied at SHMS are responsible for creating a memorable fan experience, including organizing fan zones, entertainment activities, and ensuring that spectators have a seamless and enjoyable time. With a large international audience, security is paramount. Event managers collaborate with security professionals to develop robust safety plans, manage crowd control, and respond to any emergencies that may arise during the event.
4. UEFA Euro 2024: Europe's premier football competition brings together fans from different corners of the globe. Hospitality professionals will need to cater to diverse preferences and expectations during this event. Some students at SHMS have previously interned in Oman, where they experienced the event and hospitality demands of the 2022 World Cup firsthand. The UEFA Euro will be an equally rewarding experience for current and upcoming students.
These major events of 2024 and many others around the world are fantastic opportunities for SHMS students and alumni to experience the biggest events of the world, solidifying their event management training with practical and real-life events at the highest level.
The luxury retail market is experiencing remarkable growth in 2024, with projections indicating an increase of 8% to 10% across all categories. For the Bachelor’s and Master’s program students at SHMS who are specializing in luxury brand management, this is a great trend for their upcoming careers in this sector.
A significant shift in consumer preferences is evident, with a growing emphasis on experiential luxury. Luxury hospitality, cruises, and fine dining are enjoying a 15% year-over-year growth rate as people are increasingly free to travel. This preference for experiences over material possessions is changing the landscape of luxury consumption.
Moreover, consumers are embracing "experience-based goods," including fine art, luxury cars, private jets, yachts, fine wines, spirits, and gourmet food. This category is expected to advance by 10% in 2024, signaling a shift towards enjoying moments and experiences. With this boom in luxury experience, the hospitality aspect of luxury brand management is more important than ever. It goes beyond customer service in high-end stores; trained hospitality professionals are in high demand across all luxury sectors, opening many doors for SHMS students beyond hotels and events. For example, SHMS students in Leysin learn and practice how to run a full-service spa, handling all the ins-and-outs of the business of luxury guest relations and relaxation.
In 2024, the state of hospitality and hospitality education is defined by resurgence, technology integration, global events, and the rise of experiential luxury. There has never been a better time to earn a hospitality education and dive into a thriving and increasingly diversifying hospitality landscape. SHMS is at the forefront, preparing students to navigate and lead in this dynamic industry. As hospitality continues to evolve, professionals equipped with the right knowledge and skills will excel in this exciting era of growth and innovation.