What is hospitality

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What is hospitality?

Hospitality is about making guests feel welcome and comfortable, as if they were at home. The hospitality and tourism industry is large and includes all businesses that support or are related to travel, tourism, and making guests feel cared for.

It’s more than expected

At its heart, hospitality involves welcoming guests with kindness, whether they are familiar faces or new acquaintances. Known for its friendly and generous nature, hospitality is crucial for building connections between different cultures and promoting understanding among people from diverse backgrounds.

Examples of hospitality are seen in various situations, from offering a drink to a visitor at your home to the extensive services provided by the hospitality industry, which include: 

  • Hotels & Resorts like Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, and Ritz Carlton
  • Restaurants & Bars such as Black Sheep and LPM  
  • Travel & Tourism like Royal Caribbean and Emirates Airlines
  • Spas & Wellness such as Parklane Resort & Spa and Camiral Golf & Wellness

Today, hospitality is also in-demand in other industries where the principles and practices of hospitality have found new application in a diverse range of industries, often in unexpected ways.

High-income and luxury businesses like John Paul, UBS, and Bulgari where the client is treated to the caring and goodwill typically experienced in the hospitality industry.

No matter the business – a Michelin restaurant, interior design, or a luxury travel agency–where there is a client, good hospitality can improve that client relationship and improve business.


Hospitals, wellness clinics, and silver economy services are adopting hospitality principles to improve patient care, satisfaction, and quality of life.  

The world-famous Mayo Clinic offers concierge services that provide patients and their families with travel, lodging, and dining assistance, as well as information about local activities and services. This makes the experience less stressful for patients traveling from afar, offering a level of care and attention that goes beyond medical treatment.

Sunrise Senior Living provides personalized care plans and creates living environments that are both comfortable and stimulating. They offer a range of activities and programs designed to enhance the quality of life for residents, including art classes, music programs, and fitness classes, all within a setting that feels more like a home than a healthcare facility.

These examples illustrate how hospitality principles are applied in healthcare and senior living, focusing on personalized care, comfort, and an enriching environment to improve the quality of life for patients and residents. 


Retailers of all genres are using hospitality concepts to create more engaging and personalized shopping experiences that create a more engaging and enjoyable customer experience, encouraging longer visits and ultimately increasing sales.

Tiffany & Co. provides a highly personalized shopping experience,. The brand uses private salons where customers can view pieces in a luxurious, intimate setting that offers privacy and exclusive service making customers feel valued, which is instrumental in high-ticket purchases.

Rolls-Royce takes luxury to the extreme with their bespoke services, allowing customers to customize nearly every aspect of their vehicle providing a highly personalized and exclusive service reminiscent of a bespoke tailor.

Nordstrom has long been known for incorporating high-quality dining experiences within their stores. The convenience of being able to take a dining break without leaving the store adds to customer satisfaction and can lead to increased time spent shopping.

Saks Fifth Avenue has integrated services like beauty and wellness clinics within their department stores, and piloted a co-working space Saks Works. These services turn routine trips into luxurious outings and can increase spending.  

Lululemon goes beyond selling athletic apparel by offering free yoga and fitness classes in their stores which builds a community around the brand and transforms the store into a gathering place, fostering customer relationships and loyalty. The inclusive, community-focused environment encourages frequent visits, indirectly boosting sales.

Banking and Finance

Financial institutions are integrating hospitality to improve customer service and satisfaction and are incorporating enhanced customer service training for staff.  

For example, UBS offers bespoke advisory services that are akin to a personal concierge in a luxury hotel. HSBC has rolled out Premier Centers worldwide, which function similarly to airline business class lounges. Bank of America, recognizing the importance of convenience in hospitality, has invested heavily in its digital platforms to ensure a seamless user experience.

Real Estate

High-end real estate developers and property managers often incorporate hospitality elements to enhance the luxury living experience, differentiate their offerings, and attract discerning clients.  

For instance, developments like Fifteen Hudson Yards in New York offer a full suite of in-house lifestyle services managed by a dedicated concierge team. The Ritz-Carlton Residences around the world, for example, provide residents with amenities such as a private chef, in-residence dining, and personalized fitness training. luxury developers like Related Companies often organize events that not only entertain but also create networking opportunities for residents, enhancing their social and professional lives.

Properties like those developed by Four Seasons Private Residences ensure that every aspect of the design and architecture serves to create a sense of place and luxury, often including interiors designed by renowned architects and designers. SHMS offers design options for students who would like to create high-level luxury spaces. 

Tech Industry

Tech companies are using hospitality principles to improve user experience. This can be seen in user interface design, customer support, and workplace environment. Apple is an excellent example tech employing hospitality to improve client satisfaction. From the birth of its easy user interface which launched its popularity, to following developments from the retail store experience, to the Genius Bar concierge-style repair service, and their education platform, Today at Apple, the company puts the customer experience first in every regard.


Universities and colleges, are applying hospitality practices to improve student services, campus life, and accommodation, aiming to provide a better overall student experience. For example, University of Pennsylvania offers Penn Hospitality Services which includes guest accommodations and conference services that operate akin to a hotel for Penn students and their guests.

Event Management

Event management firms are taking events to new levels with innovative hospitality touches and services, personalized experiences, and a focus on attendee satisfaction across various types of events. For example, at festivals like Glastonbury and Coachella, there are often on-site accommodations ranging from simple camping options to luxury glamping with amenities like beds, linens, and sometimes even air conditioning.

Hospitality Management versus Hotel Management

Though often thought of as synonymous, the two titles are different, one being all encompassing and the other being more focused. 

Hospitality Management

This broad professional category includes hospitality based businesses like hotels, restaurants, cruise ships, theme parks, airlines, convention centers etc. Hospitality management roles ensure that operations run smoothly and that guests and clients have a great experience, whether they're staying in a hotel, eating out, or on a cruise vacation.

Hotel Management

Within the field of Hospitality Management, Hotel Management specializes specifically on the operations in establishments where people stay, like hotels and resorts. Students learn all the minutiae required for seamless experiences for clients.

Other Specializations

Swiss Hotel Management School offers degrees in overarching Hospitality Management and offers specializations with an industry area focus including; hotel management, event management, luxury brand management, and design. The choice of programs and specializations allows students to be laser focused or stay broad in their career goals and objectives.

With a degree in Hospitality Management and an industry-specific specialization, you can stay general or laser-focused on your career goals. The choice is yours.

When people think of hospitality, they immediately imagine 5-star hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants, private jets, and white-glove service…but hospitality is how you make them feel. Excellence for the sake of excellence is nothing. Excellence with heart, that’s hospitality.

Malin Persson

Master of Arts Program Manager

The ‘Swiss Hospitality Touch’

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Switzerland is synonymous with hospitality. This reputation has historical roots, dating back to when travelers sought refuge in the Alpine inns during their journeys across the rugged mountain terrains. The strategic location of Switzerland, serving as a bridge and gatekeeper between different European countries, also played a crucial role in developing its hospitality traditions.

Over the years, Swiss hospitality has evolved significantly. Switzerland became renowned for its health sanitariums in the 19th century, attracting wealthy visitors seeking rest and recuperation in its pristine environment. This evolution continued into the luxury segment, with Switzerland establishing itself as a world leader in high-end hotel experiences.

But why Switzerland? The answer lies in its commitment to excellence, attention to detail, and a deep-rooted culture of service. The stunning natural beauty of the country, combined with its political neutrality, respect of privacy and commitment to quality, made Switzerland the ultimate refuge and epitome of hospitality.

And why SHMS? Because SHMS epitomizes Swiss hospitality excellence embracing the traditions of Swiss hospitality while fueling the legacy forward with innovation and technology. 

Swiss Hotel Management School offers a wide choice of degree programs based on a blend of theoretical knowledge and practical experience. Graduates are well-equipped to meet the challenges of the hospitality world. For more details and to explore how you can become a graduate of this prestigious institution we invite you to download a brochure. 

Why hospitality


Why study hospitality?

Hospitality skills essential for success in the hospitality industry and are increasingly valued across all sectors in today's job market making a degree in Hospitality a real advantage.