Australia is often hailed for its laid-back attitude and friendly good humour that has long been a destination synonymous with enjoyable hospitality experiences. But what sets Australian hospitality apart from the rest?
In recent years, a distinct Australian approach to customer service and management has been emerging, shaping a unique perspective on hospitality training. The Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS), a part of Torrens University Australia, is one institution at the forefront of this movement, which has been incorporating the principles of Australian hospitality into its curriculum.
As a senior lecturer and academic researcher at BMIHMS, with a background rooted in luxury and non-traditional accommodation, I bring a cross-cultural perspective that sheds light on what Australian hospitality truly means and how it's revolutionising hospitality training. Originally from Italy and having worked in various hospitality settings in Italy, Switzerland, and Australia, my journey has exposed me to diverse approaches within the industry and hospitality training.
Australian and Swiss approach to hospitality
Australian hospitality is characterised by an informal and laid-back approach, maintaining professionalism while exuding a friendly, warm, and relaxed atmosphere. This approach is influenced by Australia's multiculturalism, emphasising diversity, inclusivity, and the celebration of different cultures.
Australian hospitality centres on the human aspect of travel, for both students and hospitality staff, as well as guests. It's built on pillars of inclusivity, sustainability, and authenticity, emphasising community and connection. Its informal ethos and flexibility enable it to respond effectively to evolving customer and industry demands.
To contrast, let's examine the Swiss approach to hospitality, long regarded as the pinnacle of hotel training. Swiss hospitality is deeply rooted in heritage and tradition, focusing on practical skills and academic rigor. While internationally esteemed, Swiss hospitality training has faced criticism for its high cost, elitism, and formal structure. This rigidity can hinder adaptability in a rapidly changing economic and consumer landscape.
It's evident that a new era demands a new hospitality training model. So, how does Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School infuse the Australian style of hospitality into its Hotel Management courses?
While BMIHMS shares the emphasis on practical skills development and academic excellence with Swiss institutions, it adds a crucial dimension—personal and professional growth of graduates. The school places a strong emphasis on developing soft skills to complement technical service delivery. Socio-cultural and emotional intelligence training are seamlessly integrated into the curriculum, both inside and outside the classrooms.
Moreover, BMIHMS doesn't stop at preparing graduates for the day-to-day practical aspects of hospitality. It nurtures them to become agents of change and forces for good. Students actively engage in charity programs and ambassadorships, fostering a culture of giving and responsibility within the campus community, which they can carry forward into the industry.
As the global hospitality industry undergoes profound transformations, from diversified services to sustainability and advanced AI technologies, an Australian hospitality approach, centered on humanity, innovation, and values, may hold the key to addressing the challenges of tomorrow.
If you’re curious to find out more about our courses and discover how Australian hospitality values are integrated into the unique Hotel and Hospitality Management degrees on offer at BMIHMS, see here for more detailed information.