This year’s young industry star Tess Humble Dillner, a Swedish Hotel Institute Montreux graduate, started the Young Creative Hospitality Leaders Network with her colleagues. Their ambition is to attract more young people to the industry. But where did her passion for hospitality begin?

She started her career in hospitality at the age of 17. Initially working as a waitress in Uppsala led her to greater responsibilities. She progressed to working as operations manager for the city market hall and nightclub manager of Night @ Saluhallen, a well-visited club in the city. After her experience working within different fields of the industry she decided to study hotel management at Hotel Institute Montreux.

Isn’t it possible to work your way up in the hospitality industry?

“Sure, you can gain practical experience but to understand the big picture it requires something more. My experience in Switzerland and my internship at The Dorchester in London have been crucial for me. I was able to get a broader perspective of the industry. I believe that is needed to create new and innovative experiences for guests.”

After graduating from Hotel Institute Montreux, Tess moved back to Sweden and worked in operations management for Svensson’s Bars and Clarion Arlanda. She now works at the Nordic C Hotel and Nordic Light as Food & Beverage Manager.

“The best thing about the hospitality industry is the opportunity for young people to take on a lot of responsibility. The development possibilities are endless. It’s awesome to see my team grow in their roles.”

By 2023, there will be an additional 50,000 hospitality jobs in the Swedish tourism industry. However, there are still challenges attracting young people to the industry. Tess explains that the rumor about low pay and non-standard hours is an obstacle for many future students initially attracted to the industry.

“In general, people are not aware of the opportunities. It is my responsibility as a leader to raise awareness within and outside of the industry and ensure everyone involved takes their responsibilities seriously.”

And that is exactly what Tess and her industry peers are trying to achieve.

The Young Creative Hospitality Leaders network (YCHL) gets together four times a year. Young leaders in the industry between 23-29 years old and working in the Swedish tourism industry are invited to join. They take part in lectures given by leaders from within the hospitality industry and also from successful role models working in other industries. Their goal is to generate discussion about how to attract more young people to the hospitality industry. Tess was named this year’s Young Star by Visita Stockholm for her initiative with the YCHL network.

“To receive the award was so fulfilling, it’s always nice to be recognized for something that you are also passionate about.”