A round table on tourism at the EHTL

Minister of Tourism meets passionate and professional learners

A few days ago, the first year students of the tourism training course were displeased when it was announced that the International Tourism Fair in Berlin (ITB Berlin) would be cancelled due to the coronavirus. Indeed, they had invested a lot in their course entitled ORVIGA, which consists of organising, carrying out and documenting a mini-stay on their own, in this case in the German capital, with a visit to the fair, promotion of Luxembourg on the stand and guided tours. The EHTL immediately thought of an alternative programme and had the honour of welcoming Lex DELLES, Minister of Tourism, for a round table discussion on 4 March.
This was an opportunity for the students to present the program they had put together and to introduce some of the must-see sites on the tour they had developed. The quality of the information provided, the students’ presence and oratory skills earned them the congratulations of the Minister, who underlined their professionalism and also thanked the excellent work of the teachers Renée FERRING and Isabelle FRANK. Through this type of project, students acquire solid knowledge in history, architecture, culture and art history. As for the study trip to Berlin, which fell through, it is planned to make up for it next year, to the delight of the students.
The round table then brought together first and second year tourism students, as well as first year students in the BTS Hospitality Management course. The Minister explained how the strategy to promote Luxembourg to visitors was born: first by analysing the country’s strong points, identifying what makes it unique, and then communicating to the target audiences. He spoke about remembrance tourism, wine tourism and story telling, a way of doing things that transforms a guided tour into an adventure capable of capturing visitors’ attention and creating emotion. Luxembourg is, among others, the ideal destination for tourists in search of authentic experiences, nature lovers, hikers, or perfection seekers, i.e. lovers of exclusive destinations. The tourism sector is becoming more professional and offers many opportunities; future graduates are guaranteed to find a job after completing their studies.
Regarding the impact of coronavirus on global tourism, it is true that travellers are waiting to see how the situation develops and tend to postpone bookings for the next holidays. Consequently, promotional campaigns should be reduced for the time being; but once the epidemic is over, communication will resume more intensively, mainly to neighbouring countries and the Netherlands, which account for a total of 62% of tourists visiting Luxembourg.
During the round table, the students actively fuelled the conversation through relevant questions, comments, reflections and testimonials, demonstrating their real interest in the tourism sector. Michel LANNERS, Director of the EHTL, warmly thanked the Minister for “this constructive and highly educational exchange”. He also proposed to repeat this experience in the years to come.