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International Exposure Expands the Potential of Success in Hospitality Businesses and Academics

publication date: Aug 11, 2011
author/source: Dr. John Hogan CHA CHE CMHS

Hospitality ConversationsTM

International Exposure Expands the Potential of Success in Hospitality Businesses and Academics

Dr. John Hogan CHE CHA CMHS


Many of our earlier Hospitality ConversationsTM columns that have examined internships have been at major universities with traditional four year academic programs. Several of these programs have international components that may include global internships and/or students from around the globe.

This column takes a different approach and includes feedback and observations from Sonja Holverson1 , Professeur en Marketing ECOLE HOTELIERE DE LAUSANNE. Professor Holverson has an extensive career background in both academia and in the business side of hospitality. She has an MBA from HEC University of Lausanne, a diploma in Business Administration from the Centre romand de promotion du management (CRPM), and a BA from the University of Hawaii. Her two-decade long career in the hospitality and tourism industry includes sales and marketing positions in Hawaii, California and Switzerland in many different positions, including hotels, restaurants, tour operators, travel agencies, incentive travel companies and cruise lines.

Professor Holverson’s research and teaching experience includes giving executive courses on hotel branding in China and presenting research on hotel branding and affiliations at conferences in Switzerland, the US and Dubai. She particularly enjoys interactive classes where students are very involved by contributing innovative and productive ideas to well-structured discussions and projects.

Research interests:

  • SME hotel strategies

  • Lifestyle hotel strategies

  • Strategic hotel branding and brand portfolio management

  • Hotel off and on-line distribution

Professor Holverson's2 philosophy can be found on her web site , “ being a part of enabling students to develop into strategic yet creative and ethical professionals is very rewarding for me.”

We combined this column with our Questions I Wish You Would Ask Me™ to get a global perspective on travel, learning and hospitality.

1. Name your favorite hotel and why it is special to you

Beau Rivage Palace, Lausanne, Switzerland. Despite its ornate over-the top- elegance, the staff is not formal nor arrogant and make all guests feel very comfortable. It’s a wonderful escape from the daily routine.

2. Name your favorite restaurant and why it is special to you

La Poste, Grandvaux, Lavaux vineyards near Lausanne, Switzerland. Truly amazing all glass 2-sided view from up the hill located in the vineyards overlooking Lake Geneva and the French and Swiss Alps. Besides the view, the owners are always most gracious to me and I have fond memories of family and friends who have passed on as well as those still living with whom I shared special moments here.

3. Where do you vacation the most often?

Paris or Barcelona

4. What is your favorite charity or cause?

Alzheimers Association

Name your pet service peeve, why and any ideas you may have to address it .

Not knowing the answer to my questions about a product and not offering to get the information from someone else. Training in customer service would be a logical start to correct this (although not all companies even do this) , but also it is important to know how to share information within a company and how to access it.

6. Who was the most important mentor in your life and why?

My Father. He was courageous and taught me how to deal with difficult situations and still remain calm and resourceful.

7. In the last five years, what has been your most memorable meeting or convention experience and why?

Travelcom by the US Travel Association in Chicago 2008 when Henry Harteveldt interviewed Richard Branson. It was most inspirational and motivating to know that travel giants can also be ethical and authentic.

8. What is the one piece of advice you would offer to a graduating student with a hospitality degree?

Remain flexible, be yourself, keep your joie de vivre and then you will be able to do anything you like.

9. What is the one question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview today?

Did you think 10 years ago that you would have accomplished all that you have today?




We have asked dozens of people involved in hospitality businesses around the world to answer up to nine questions in this special section of HospitalityEducators.com.  If you would like to participate, please contact   John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com 

 Feel free to share an idea for a column at
info@hoganhospitality.com anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements ... And remember - we all need a regular dose of common sense.


Success does not come by accident or chance.

Contact us for assistance

John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com or 602-799-5375

HospitalityEducators.com was created to help hospitality businesses address problems via a training and information resource site to help you increase your Hotel's revenue, market share and profitability.  With more than 800 pages of tips, guides, best practices, strategies, plans, budgets, videos and resources, HospitalityEducators.com is the number 1 website for hotel owners and managers of both independent and branded properties.  This site can help you solve your problems now!      Read More 

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 KEYS TO SUCCESS is the umbrella title for my 2011 programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’ writings focus on a variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my "HOW TO" articles, HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS™, Lessons from the Field™, Hotel Common Sense™ , THE P-A-R PRINCIPLE and Principles for Success.


Feel free to share an idea for a column at john.hogan@hospitalityeducators.com anytime or

contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And

remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense.



John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. He is Co-Founder of www.HospitalityEducators.com , which delivers focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today.

Consulting Expertise and Research Interest

  1. Developing Academic Hospitality programs

  2. Medical Lodging Consulting

  3. Sales Management and training

  4. Turn-around and revenue management

  5. Professional Development for the Organization and the Individual

  6. Customer Service

  7. Making Cultural Diversity Real


If you need assistance in any of these areas or simply an independent review or opinion on a hospitality challenge, contact me directly for a prompt response and very personalized attention.

www.HospitalityEducators.com is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability.


Your Hospitality Resource for the Hotel Owner, Innkeeper, Manager and Hospitality Industry Associations


John Hogan, CHE CHA CMHS

United States - Phoenix, Phone: 602-799-5375

www.hoganhospitality.com / Email: info@hoganhospitality.com




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