UPDATE: Please see our 2012 review of the world’s leading hospitality schools here. Or continue reading for the 2010 edition…

AsianCorrespondent.com’s resident wine critic Peter Scudamore-Smith examines the importance of high-level hospitality & training education in Australia and around the world, and identifies 10 of the top educators in the sector today

IT cannot be denied that the “Best Job in the World” TV show put the tourism eye on Queensland, and the Whitsundays, and consequently on the need to visit  Australia. It’s about the experience and the expectation before arriving, the country, its people, its standards in offerings when engaged with tourists, and finally the remaining impression, and repeat visits. That’s the challenge that the tourism industry in every country around the world faces – attracting visitors and encouraging them come back again and again.

Here’s a success story from my native Australia. During the 1980s Australia had a booming domestic wine industry fuelled by chardonnay and shiraz, but little export activity. That changed after Wine Flight when 100 British wine influencers, many were Masters of Wine, visited the principle established wine regions, met many larrikin people responsible for the great wines and had a seriously fun time. The rest is history as Australian exports topped AUD$2bn five years ago, and great amounts of our wine go to the UK.

Now that export success has dulled, sales of volume-led, entry-level, value-based wines have slowed and markets teetered. Wine Flight’s original instigator, plucky Brit Hazel Murphy re-ignited the UK trades interest in higher level premium Aussie wines with a sense of place in returning earlier this year. Another 100 scribes and buyers combed new regions with new wines and new stories. However the most impressive participant response was the reception at producer level; from makers and their staff now trained admirably to set out wines, pour, manage, receive and farewell visitors with style and accomplishment.

William Angliss Institute is long established in supplying graduates and managers in the Victorian wineries scene. This state dominates in the Australian small wineries count with over 500-most focussed on direct sales and visitations to the length and breadth of the vineyard expanses, engrossing cellar door entertainment and food service. The nearby Yarra Valley wineries play host to the second Landmark Australia 2010 tasting in September, with the Australian industry flying in a dozen highly-accredited, invited international experts for this Australian wine 7-day tutorial; the new, the edgy, the old and the iconic wine will be presented, about 400 bottles.

The importance of quality hospitality & tourism training institutes cannot be overstated, in Australia or in any other country. The Australian unemployment rate is headed for under 5 percent for the second time in three years. With this comes staff and skill shortages; bad food and questionable stay experiences putting a heavy onus on the tourism operators to uphold standards. Today the Hospitality Training Association (HTA) in Queensland is equipped to nip these shortfalls in the bud with its wide-ranging staff sourcing and apprentice hospitality training. The vision of a private hotel operator in 1980 and gratiating six sectors of the tourism and hospitality industry has cumulated in the HTA’s new standalone facility in Fortitude Valley 30 years on. It is organisations like these worldwide that can make the difference between success and failure when it comes to attracting visitors.

Worldwide, the success of shows like MasterChef and Hell’s Kitchen have made a huge dent on the McDonald’s culture and mentality of eating, and it is expected to see a rise in households providoring food rather than takeouts. It is also putting the cool factor into haute cuisine, with more and more young people enrolling in hospitality and culinary courses worldwide. Here in Australia, the Italian-origin Slow Food Movement in Australia, while still a little on the elite side for general consumption, is underwriting the maintenance of natural foods in our diets. Even the French-influenced chef and hotel management organisation Le Cordon Bleu Australia advertises corporate membership and promotion of Slow Food. And that’s not bad for two European neighbours.

But the importance of having excellent hospitality & tourism training institutes is not just an Australian issue. Any country that believes in the importance of high standards in attracting more visitors will have the training facilities in place to make this happen. Here are 10 of the best hospitality & tourism training institutes in Australia and around the world.

 

WILLIAM ANGLISS INSTITUTE

Every year, some 18,000 students receive specialized training in hospitality, tourism and culinary arts at the William Angliss Institute in Melbourne, Australia. This vocational training center offers everything from short-term classes to four-year degrees, and the entire Pacific-Asia region has taken notice. Sir William Charles Angliss founded the institute in 1940. Since then, the institute has grown into a leader in hospitality vocational training, regularly winning awards in Victoria and abroad for its cutting-edge facilities and student-centered teaching techniques. Course options at William Angliss Institute include programs in resort management, patisserie, event planning, hospitality, franchising, tourism and business along with many others. As a student, you also have the option to pursue a combined degree by choosing two of the following three overarching study tracks: hospitality and tourism, commercial cookery and patisserie.

 

LE CORDON BLEU

No culinary institute in the world can compete with the reputation and networking capability of Le Cordon Bleu. It’s the largest hospitality education institute in the world, boasting 15 major campuses across the world. In many ways, Le Cordon Bleu sets the standard for culinary arts and hotel management in the 21st century. The institute was founded in Paris, and there’s still an underlying focus on haute French cuisine. Students can enroll in short-term courses or in full certification courses.  Le Cordon Bleu offers from programs across its worldwide network, with everything from short-term workshops and certification courses to full-time degree programs. Bachelors and masters degrees are available in Hospitality Management through the campus in Adelaide. These courses focus on the realm of corporate hotels and go beyond culinary arts to reinforce strategic management techniques.  Whether enrolled in a degree-seeking program or a short-term workshop, you’ll enjoy unprecedented access to your instructors while gaining valuable experience in student-run restaurants.

 

CORNELL-NANYANG INSTITUTE OF HOSPITALITY & MANAGEMENT

Cornell-Nanyang Institute of Hospitality and Management (CNI) is one of the most dynamic partnerships that the hospitality industry has ever seen. It combines Cornell University’s world-renown expertise in hotel administration with Nanyang Technological Institute’s prestigious MBA program. Both schools are leaders in their respective regions, and as a student you’ll have the opportunity to learn from industry leaders on both sides of the world. The headlining course at CNI is an intensive 12-month program that spans three semesters and two continents. Students can customize their education with highly targeted electives, building on a base of leadership and unrivaled expertise. Students enrolled in the Master of Management in Hospitality program enjoy the best of two hemispheres. Half of the time is spent in Singapore at the Yunnan Garden campus. With a truly international student body and world-class facilities, you’ll have the full advantage of being enrolled in one of Asia’s most prestigious business schools.

 

THE HOSPITALITY TRAINING ASSOCIATION INC. (HTA)

The Hospitality Training Association Inc (HTA) has been working in the southeast Queensland hospitality and management industry for 28 years, training the chefs, kitchen staff, housekeeping and hotel management staff of the future both in Australia and around the world. Students seeking a firm grasp of the industry with both practical and theoretical skills have used HTA to get started with their careers. Highly skilled and experienced HTA instructors guide students  from 33 different countries through the know-how, while hands-on internships in leading Australian tourism areas give them plenty of on the job experience. HTA was founded by Queensland’s peak hospitality industry bodies (Clubs Queensland; Hotel, Motel and Accommodation Association; Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union; Queensland Hotels Association; and Restaurant and Catering Queensland) so training is tailored to meet the high expectations of the hospitality industry.

ECOLE HOTELIERE DE LAUSANNE

As the world’s oldest hotel school, Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne (EHL) commands immense respect among hospitality and tourism professionals. It rivals Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration in terms of international clout, and graduates of EHL become high-level employees or even founders of leading hospitality and tourism organizations. EHL has a unique view of the hospitality industry, seeing it as a tool to help pull developing nations out of economic straits. The school received the Swiss Ethics Prize in 2006 for its work in sustainable development, and many graduates go on to become leaders in sustainable tourism.  Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne is accredited both in Switzerland and abroad. The core degree that most students pursue is a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management. The program integrates the science of hospitality management with the “art of understanding” that any leader in this industry has to possess. It’s this mixture of left- and right-brain teaching tactics that keeps Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne ahead of the industry. 


SHATEC INSTITUTES

Shatec Institutes has quickly became one of the leading forces for development of Singapore’s tourism industry. Shatec aims to lead Asia’s tourism industry in terms of thought leadership and manpower development. A quarter of a century later, Shatec is a leader in Singapore and Southeast Asia, winning more than 50 awards in local and international competitions. Locally, the Singapore Tourism Board honored Shatec Institutes for its “Most Outstanding Contribution” to tourism. As a student at Shatec, you’ll be referred to as a “host.” This is in line with the institute’s philosophy that excellence in the hospitality industry is as much about technical know-how and hands-on experience as it is about personal development and character. Shatec Institute’s approach to learning is so effective because the instructors understand that excellence in hospitality and culinary arts involves more than learning theory. Instead, teachers are just as concerned with developing professional integrity and hands-on practical skills.

GLION INSTITUTE OF HIGHER EDUCATION

Since it opened in 1962, Glion Institute of Higher Education has been one of the foremost hotel schools in the world. The institute is housed in the iconic Bellevue Hotel overlooking Lake Geneva and is widely recognized as one of the top-three schools for hospitality management. This is a truly international place to study. Nearly 95 percent of the enrollees are from outside of Switzerland. Many students come from Asia, the Middle East and Africa, making this one of the most dynamic and multi-faceted places to study hospitality management in the world. The international atmosphere at Glion makes it an attractive institute for students of any background. Switzerland is synonymous with excellent hotel schools, and Glion was the first private school of its kind in this country. As a student, you’ll be the beneficiary of this stalwart hotel-school model, but you’ll also benefit from modern craft-based learning techniques. Studies begin with the basic skills needed for the hospitality industry, which includes an early internship.

 

UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA LAS VEGAS (UNLV)

The University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) is a leading center for higher education in the American West. It operates an especially strong hospitality and tourism program, fueled by the international holiday scene in Las Vegas. In 2006, the university launched its first international campus. Housed in the National Library of Singapore, UNLV Singapore offers advanced coursework in hospitality management and hotel administration. Singapore is well-known as a training ground for leaders in the hospitality market, and UNLV is adding a new layer of diversity to the city’s offerings. On the UNLV side, degrees are issued through the university’s William Harrah College of Hotel Administration. In Singapore, UNLV partners with the Singapore Institute of Technology to provide Bachelor of Science degrees in hotel and hospitality administration. The campus has also set up professional conversion programs, which allow Singaporeans and permanent residents to pursue a Masters of Hospitality Administration degree while working in affiliate hotels and gaining practical experience along the way. 


CAL POLY POMONA

Part of the California Polytechnic School network, Cal Poly Pomona is a leading institute of higher learning in the US. It caters to a full range of degree-seekers but is consistently singled out for its coursework in hospitality management. There are few schools in the US that can compete with Cal Poly Pomona in this arena, and graduates are primed to assume top-level positions in the fast-growing global hospitality industry. As a student, you’ll be privy to the latest developments in 21st-century hospitality management. The faculty are expert researchers and consultants, and the training facilities at Cal Poly Pomona are as cutting-edge as those used by the world’s leading companies. Better yet, a panel of 45 industry executives keeps the school abreast of the latest market trends and breakthroughs. One of the leading divisions of Cal Poly Pomona is the Collins College of Hospitality Management. This was the first college of its kind in California, and it’s now one of the top-three hospitality management schools in the US according executives in the restaurant industry. Collins College is definitely a leader in its industry.

LES ROCHES

Les Roches is one of the most successful hotel management schools in Switzerland, a country well-known for its leadership in this industry. A select group of roughly 850 students are based here, gleaning leadership strategies, business tactics and hands-on experience from some of the most successful service-industry professionals in the world. Les Roches ranks among the world’s top-three hotel management schools according to a survey of the industry’s hiring managers. Thanks to the school’s international accreditation and firm reputation, a degree fro Les Roches can help you land top hospitality management positions all over the world. Les Roches offers undergraduate degrees in hospitality management and graduate degrees in business administration. The undergraduate courses cover all of the leadership skills needed to manage successful restaurants and hotels. By graduation, you’ll have completed three internships for well-known hospitality organizations, gaining some 18-month’s worth of on-the-job experience.


Peter Scudamore-Smith is founder and director of the consulting firm Uncorked and Cultivated in Eastern Australia. He is a wine professional writing Masterclass for Grapegrowers and Vignerons and Smart Farmer. He has held posts writing weekly for the Brisbane Sunday Mail, monthly and bi-monthly for Winestate and Vogue, and in the 1980s, Wine Spectator. He is Australia’s second Master of Wine – Institute of Masters of Wine (UK), 1991.  He is also, of course, AsianCorrespondent.com’s resident wine critic. You can read more of his writings here.