Lausanne, September 27th, 2023 - The world's oldest hotel school is celebrating its 130th birthday on October 15, and is taking the opportunity to look back at some of the highlights of its history, which has always been marked by a passion for hospitality and the transmission of knowledge.
"True to its pioneering spirit, EHL has constantly reinvented itself throughout its rich history to establish itself today as the global benchmark for hospitality management education. We draw on the hotel industry's unique know-how to teach our students, at all levels and from all walks of life, a management style centered on something simple yet so essential: people. In an age of digitalization and internationalization, this driving force is more relevant than ever, and will hopefully continue to be our guiding principle for the next 130 years", enthuses Prof. Markus Venzin, EHL Group CEO.
A look back at 8 key moments in EHL's history
1893 – It was the Belle Epoque in Europe, and the beginnings of tourism for the European aristocracy and bourgeoisie, who saw Switzerland as a destination of choice for their retreats. Observing this tourism boom first hand, visionary hotelier Jacques Tschumi decided to create a hospitality training establishment. On October 15, the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne was born, welcoming its first 27 students.
1926 – The Alumni Association is founded with 500 alumni, including the general managers of many prestigious hotels. Today, EHL boasts a powerful network of over 30,000 alumni in over 150 countries. A real strength for the institution!
1943 - World War II forces EHL to close its doors. But in 1943, thanks to a fund-raising effort by 600 alumni, the school was able to reopen.
1989 – Following a deep re-evaluation of its teaching philosophy, EHL focuses on management and begins to use teaching methods adapted to university requirements.
2013 – EHL acquires the Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality in Graubünden, in Eastern Switzerland. The EHL Group now offers vocational and professional training courses, such as apprenticeships, that are the pride of Switzerland.
2019 – This was a landmark year for EHL, marked by several distinctions: EHL was ranked best school in the world in the "Hospitality & Leisure Management" category by the prestigious QS University Ranking, and its training restaurant, Le Berceau des Sens, was awarded a Michelin star.
2020 – Closely following the industry’s needs, EHL opens its first campus in the Asia-Pacific region, in the dynamic city of Singapore. Today, the campus is an anchor in Asia for EHL students and the Group’s many industry collaborations in the region.
2022 – After 5 years of construction and an investment of CHF 250 million, EHL inaugurates its new Lausanne campus. A jewel of sustainable architecture that offers the community a unique learning and living environment. Simultaneously, the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne is rebranded as the EHL Hospitality Business School. This new name underlines the strength of hospitality skills applied to management studies, and confirms the institution's academic evolution and international footprint.
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