Lausanne, 11 April 2016 – Lausanne Hospitality Consulting, a member of EHL Group, concluded the first bi-annual “Window to the Future” summit hosted at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne. Industry professionals and students from the School participated in a full day of panel discussions, presentations, and workshops addressing a variety of topics from technology to soft-skills and sustainable development.
An upcoming report based on studies conducted by EHL presented the mega trends influencing the hospitality industry and the possible future scenarios elaborated by hospitality professionals and experts. Mr Rochat, CEO of Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, explains: “The report aims to assess disruptive changes in the future of the hospitality industry, providing trends and drivers that will inspire the leaders of the global hospitality sector, faculty, students, and related business experts.”
On the subject of High-Tech versus High-Touch and the digital transformation affecting the industry, Mr Alex Luzarraga, VP, Corporate Strategy at Amadeus noted: “It will be important for a CEO to become not only good in operations but also be very aware and extremely close to technology to translate all of his actions into reality and marketing.”
The following panel discussed the increasing Asian labor market and the related challenges in talent development, including education and training, attraction and retention, and career opportunities and perceptions. Ms. Suthumpun, Dusit International, emphasized the need for more links between the industry and hospitality schools in the educational model. Dusit International is currently active in the development of new Schools in Thailand and the Philippines, in collaboration with EHL.
The afternoon panels focused on the issue of sustainability: leading players in the industry, including Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts and Wanda Hotels and Resorts were joined by a UNWTO representative to debate the role and perception of sustainability in hospitality.
Though the hospitality industry is not typically seen as a pioneer in issues surrounding sustainability and much discussion circulated about the stigmas of promoting sustainability programs, participants agreed that the industry has an opportunity to advance the issue and be a strong voice in the field.
The day concluded with a workshop focused on Divergent Scenarios, which addressed possible conflicts and challenges the hospitality industry could face if confronted with potential business and global challenges. Participants were challenged to think out of the box for solutions and future possibilities in hospitality based on imagined scenarios which would change the landscape of the industry.