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MSc Luxury Hospitality & Innovation seminar on French Riviera


April, all students in this double degree from SKEMA and Ecoles Ferrières arrived in Nice, from Paris, for an unforgettable seminar on the Côte d’Azur.

Laurent Delporte, director of the MSc, gave students access to luxury hotels in the region of Nice with a rich programme focusing on innovation in the sector. 

The 24 students met with many professionals of the world of hospitality. One of these was a visit to Alain Ducasse’s restaurant in Monaco followed by a talk on the different jobs in table waiting by the head of the restaurant. There was also a visit to the Negresco in Nice and a meeting with the director, a visit to the Monte Carlo Bay in Monaco and an interview with the director. Students also visited the Hyatt Regency with a talk about the Green Globe label (sustainable development). They went to Fragonard in Grasse, the Hôtel Martinez in Cannes, and the Chèvre d’Or in Eze.

The programme alternated visits and talks either on the spot or on the Sophia Antipolis campus of SKEMA. Céline Guethon (founder of Spa Collection) gave a talk about the challenges of Spas in luxury hotels. Frédéric Vacherié (founder of the restaurant Le Cabanon in Cannes) spoke about the challenges of restaurant service; SKEMA professor Jonas Hoffmann presented the four innovation strategies; Nicolas Servel (director of the MSc Entrepreneurship & Innovation) spoke about “Innovation & Hospitality”; not to mention the meeting with Aline Hartog (SKEMA alumna, head housekeeper at the Royal Riviera hotel in St Jean Cap Ferrat), the talk about the future of hotel rankings with SKEMA alumni at an afterwork with graduates in the region and a talk by Laurent Delporte at the Méridien Nice on the challenges facing luxury hotels. 

Beyond their wonder at the prestigious places they visited, the students left convinced that innovation is at the heart of transforming organisations. Team management changes with new mentalities and innovations that improve service delivery. Many digital applications come out each year both at the service of clients and to improve the work of the service teams. This obviously impacts client expectations and gives rise to new needs in the luxury hospitality sector. 

“My objective was to open the doors of luxury hotel business in the region of Nice so that they could discover our campus and get an idea of our new MSc Luxury Hospitality & Innovation. It was a four-day whistle stop tour of what our new MSc will become from next September. Luxury hospitality is expanding and changing the world over. It is more than ever necessary to train a new generation of hotelier-entrepreneurs who will be creative in their jobs. The challenges are huge and the context changes rapidly. Our new MSc responds to these challenges,” explained Laurent Delporte, director of the MSc. 

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