When you are studying hospitality in the UK capital, there’s no shortage of food, drink and hotel experiences that can add to your classroom learning. On 12th and 13th November, a group of semester seven students headed to fashionable Shoreditch in East London on a field trip arranged by Glion. The two days were designed to support the students’ final year specialization.

The EMEA Market Insight module – the final module of the ‘Creating Hotel Concepts Whilst Maximizing Financial Returns specialization – gives students the expertise and knowledge to help businesses stay ahead in the ever-evolving European, Middle Eastern and African hospitality markets. Along with a strong foundation in research and analytical skills, it’s essential for students to immerse themselves in the marketplace and understand its direction, which is what the London field trip was all about.

Learning from leaders

The two-day field trip took in guest speakers, hotel tours and an alumna Q&A. BBA student, Lauren Solomons, describes the first day:

“To kickstart our EMEA Market Insight module, we met up amidst the hustle and bustle of The City for a career-sharing session with Director of BH Group, Alexander RAE over lunch at Hubbard & Bell in the Hoxton Holborn. He spoke about: life after graduation; not being overwhelmed about “where to next?”; and how an early stint in feasibility opened all the right doors to where he is today.”

Next on the agenda was a hotel tour of Rosewood London by Director of Rooms, Tim Lee. Students were blown away at the luxury on offer, especially the suites (“houses”)! The tone and atmosphere within the property was exquisite.

To conclude the day, we visited the newly-built Deloitte offices to meet with Glion Alumna, Marina Lazorina who gave us insight into how the Hospitality & Leisure team is structured, typical projects and of course, perks of the job!”

Understanding the changing marketplace

Millennials and Generation Z travelers want ultra-personalisation and are more focused on convenience than luxury. In this new landscape, there are a number of notable brands leading the way. On day two, the students met CitizenM Director of Development, Meindert Jan Tjoeng, for a tour of their Shoreditch property.

During the tour, Meindert explained the CitizenM approach: “Anyone can build a nice hotel with beautiful interior design. I believe what we have is soul. Staff here walk around and are in contact with guests, fully focusing on them. It’s most important for the business. This at the end results in high occupancy rates in all 13 hotels”, he said.

We are a real estate company and a hotel. We like investing and growing. We like control, we like to be sure of the quality of the portfolio. We’d rather wait to do it ourselves and do it really well.

Eat, sleep, work, repeat

After lunch, the students headed to WeWork for a tour of this co-working concept that has taken the world by storm. The boom in shared workspaces, rent-a-desk offices and co-working is an example of the way business is embracing flexible working environments. Hotels are increasingly exploring the potential to offer a bed, food and a place to work all under one roof. The second day concluded with two other innovators: Soho House, arguably the largest and most sought-after private members’ club in the world; and Andaz London – Hyatt’s successful lifestyle brand.

The trip was organised by Katharine Le Quesne, Head of Resorts Specialization at Glion. Katharine’s 20+ years of experience as a hospitality industry advisor gives Glion students exceptional access to industry professionals.

Want to know more about the industry experience and exposure available to Glion students? Read about our current Applied Business Projects, where classroom knowledge meets real-world business problems.

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About the author

Glion Institute of Higher Education
Glion Institute of Higher Education is a private Swiss institution offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hospitality, luxury and event management to an international student body across three campuses in Switzerland and London, UK.
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