Picture: Khanyisile Ngcobo

Lausanne - After 125 years of excellence and innovation in the Swiss hospitality industry, Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) has now set its sights on South Africa where it plans to open a campus in the near future. 

The hospitality management school, which already has a footprint in Algeria and Angola, revealed its intention to expand further within the continent at its 125-year anniversary celebrations. 

EHL CEO Michel Rochat said as part of their expansion plans,  the institution wants to open schools in Asia and Africa as both continents were "the place to be". 

"The third campus of EHL should be in Africa, South Africa definitely, so we have that in our strategy. 

"Definitely Africa is the place to be within the next 15 years. We run a school in North Africa, in Algiers, and Angola and we've interacted with students... speaking with them, all the potential you have is just fantastic," he said. 

Rochat also reflected on the school's history, from its humble beginnings as a hotel school simply focusing on vocation and academia to one also incorporating innovation and entrepreneurship. 

Picture: Khanyisile Ngcobo

So dedicated to innovation is EHL, that Rochat revealed plans to open a place dedicated to this on the campus. 

"Innovation for the hospitality domain and for all such as well... in the past innovation was how to clean a room, now it's mainly digital," he said. 

Also included was a tour of the school as well as various workshops focusing on the school's vision beyond 2018 as well as a look at the new Lausanne campus, set to be completed by 2021.

Picture: Khanyisile Ngcobo

The campus will include sporting facilities, a restaurant as well as additional student accommodation.

The day's festivities culminated in a gala dinner that saw dignitaries, alumni, students and local as well as international media come together to look back and celebrate the school's milestones. 

EHL was founded in 1983 by Jacques Tschumi in Lausanne and has a student body of over 2800 students of 115 nationalities. 

The school has two campuses in Switzerland and has collaborated with nine other hotel schools across the globe, providing them with certification.