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  • Writer's pictureStephan Busch

Hospitality Education - so we all want and can work until we are 80 years!

The move to raise the retirement age up is meet in France with fierce protest, in Germany as usual with mumbling obedience and in other countries with multiple reactions from resignation to loud screams.

Politicians get these moves dictated by the industries that provides their benefits and are limited when it comes to being smart otherwise they wont be politicians in the first place. So what does that mean for us? The working ones in hospitality and tourism? We should consider some facts that can be observed today.

  • we are in better shape! Good living conditions in Europe, Asia and America let us live longer. So why should we stop working as long as we have fun and like it!

  • Health care is good and even though governments like the German one are cutting it to pieces it still works. If you don’t listen to the advertising of the Pharma industry and their sponsored doctors who would like to see you more often in hospital and in the drug store you will get older and in better shape.

  • Payments and salaries are a catastrophe! That is one of the reasons why young people don’t start hospitality jobs, many leave as fast as possible and some even die on the job which is also no good advertising. Educate hospitality students to change this! Longer staying and happy staff are profitable at the end and satisfaction all through the process. Don’t tell me there is no money. Billions are spend on take overs, property deals and shareholders. The money is there.

  • Working times and unpaid over time are a catastrophe too! Again – educate students to change this. Yes – it cost money but as we said – the money is available in the big brands. Small restaurants will have it harder as the Governments are not supporting them – so educate your students to be better and smarter.

  • Hospitality CEO’s like to talk about “the experience” and “personalization” so we better educate the next generations to – not only talk like it happens now – but to take action and provide an experience, value and personal space for relaxation and work for their staff and management first. The guest will benefit immediately. That is what Richard Branson is promising often and we should look at his first cruise ship this year and see if he is serious.

  • Provide the education needed. I am a fan of the Hong Kong Polytech University and the Icon Hotel. The combination of classroom education and practical work on a very high level like they provide over decades is a perfect example of what is possible. Hoteliers like Richard Hatter who combines top notch management and academic live should be an example for all of us in hospitality education. They have a hard time with the protest in Hong Kong right now but we all hope the University will be back to its old glory in no time.

Richard Hatter. GM The Icon Hong Kong

So we can and should work until we are 80! Lets work less, enjoy more, keep the body and the brain cells moving and help the young people to avoid the many mistakes we made in the past and still today. Teach them also that we like a little table in the corner when we are around 80 to sit down, observe and critizise a ittle. We better educate them good – we need them to do better than we did.

Author: Stephan Busch, Academic Director at the State University for the Humanities Moscow RGGU, Faculty of Tourism & Hospitality earned his Master Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, USA. He has a diverse experience in launching operations, business development and service training- for hotel and cruise companies in Asia, Europe, Canada and,

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