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1970s

Period of consolidation for the Ecole des Roches.

The early 1970s was a period of consolidation for the Ecole des Roches; the late 1970s, a period of dramatic change.

The school continued building on its foundations established in the 1950s, of a rounded education that balanced academic learning, with sport, healthy lifestyle, and well-being.

As the biggest international boarding school in Valais and a successful business, it brought significant financial benefit to the local economy as well as employment opportunities for teachers and support staff.

But the world political stage was changing with significant upheaval in the Middle East, and in the second half of the 1970s, the Clivaz brothers began to reflect more seriously about the growing business opportunity of creating a school that offered diplomas in hotel management.

In 1979, the Ecole des Roches became Les Roches Hotel and Tourism School.

Les Roches Hotel and Tourism School became Switzerland’s first and only hotel management training school which offered instruction in English.

The hotel and tourism industry – all about business

The 1970s saw the beginning of hotels aimed at business people.  This was influenced by the following factors:
  • Airline companies looking for economic growth opportunities decided to expand into hotels
  • The sudden oil-prosperity of the Middle East countries attracted business people from around the world
In the 1970s, hotel chains upped their game in response to consumer demand.
  • Hotels rooms became more spacious and the cuisine more refined
  • Various first class hotels (among them former palaces and city center hotels) which had fallen into disrepair, began systematic renovation programs
Other key developments
  • The first congresses of international hotel experts started at end of the 1970s
  • China opened its doors to foreign tourists

Next decade : The 1980s

For four years, from 1979 to 1983 the international boarding school and the hotel and tourism school ran in tandem.

Then in 1983, the doors closed to secondary school children, and the school’s sole focus became hotels and tourism. There were approximately 170 students.