S04E04: Inès Blal l Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL)
Posted on Aug 30
'Now is THE time for a career in Hospitality. Everything is possible.' - states Inès Blal, Managing Director & Executive Dean at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) in this in-depth interview.
André Baljeu, Founder at techtalk.travel sat down with Inès Blal at the EHL campus in Lausanne, Switzerland. In this conversation, Inès shares her thoughts and views about how higher education and hotel business schools adapt to the change accelerated by the crisis and how the EHL community navigated through this difficult time. She speaks about what future challenges educational institutions face, the importance of the learner's journey, customer-centricity, the problem of hospitality businesses copying each other, the EHL Innovation Village, and much more.
00:35 - Adjusting to radical change
09:06 - Key messages to students and faculty
11:40 - Future challenges for educational institutions
19:56 - Vision on digitization in higher education
24:21 - Why choose a career in hospitality now?
30:53 - Retaining talent and future leaders
34:34 - The EHL Innovation Village
37:24 - Digitizing the academic portfolio and learning experience
39:04 - Inès' favorite hotel and hotel experience
42:28 - Inès' favorite restaurant and food
If you prefer tuning in to the podcast-version of this conversation, find it here and on all major podcast platforms.
About EHL and Inès Blal
Founded in 1893, EHL is considered one of the best hotel management schools in the world. Inès heads up 170 people on the faculty and 3,700 students.
Inès is the first woman and the youngest person ever to hold the position. First coming to EHL as an undergraduate, Inès earned an MBA in Hospitality Administration. In 2006, she returned as an instructor while completing a Ph.D. in Strategic Management in Hospitality and Tourism at Virginia Tech (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University). During her first term, Inès worked to foster a transparency and collaboration culture and develop a strategy for digital instruction. The COVID pandemic was her first crisis as a senior executive. Inès found herself working up to 16 hours a day, making the necessary adjustments to keep classes running virtually and on-site.
Also, find these interviews with inspiring hospitality industry professionals and leaders:
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Interview episodes with Michael Curtis when with Airbnb; Yannis Moati from HotelsByDay; Sarah Fults from MGM Hotels & Resorts and when President at HEDNA; Erik Tengen from Oaky; Maarten Plesmann when with Revinate; Brendan May from HERA Hotel Res Bot; Ben Stephenson from Impala; Martin Stockburger from Concept Hotels; Ulrich Pillau and Martin Reichenbach from apaleo; Iris Steinmetz when with Snapshot; and Ricco de Blank from SHKP
Interview episodes with Ullrich Kastner from Myhotelshop; Johannes Thomas when with Trivago; Robin Rossman from STR; Rajesh Vohra from Savora Hotels in UK; Steve Rubin from TRI Hospitality; Mike Keriakos from Curacity; Kurien Jacob from Highgate Ventures; Maximilian Waldmann when with Conichi; Wilhelm K. Weber from SHS Swiss Hospitality Solutions; and Erik Munoz when with Vertical Booking.