New Hospitality and Healthcare research partnership
  • publication: 1 June 2021

All five Dutch hotel school Universities of Applied Sciences came together at the end of April to discuss what hospitality professionals and educators and healthcare professionals can learn from each other. Initiated by Professor of Hospitality, Happiness and Care at Hotel School The Hague Dr Angelique Lombarts brought together researchers from Saxion UAS, Zuyd UAS, Breda UAS and NHL Stenden UAS to share current research, learn from medical professionals and set out a research agenda for the future.  The connection between hospitality and hospitals has a long history going back to the Knights Hospitallers a millennium ago, but the current focus on experiences, customer journey and customer orientation is raising questions about whether acts of hospitality can aid recovery from illness etc. The process of check-in/out, food and beverage offerings, customer communication, complaint handling, maintenance and facilities management are all areas that the two have in common. The aim of the HHEP platform is to bring hospitality and hospital practitioners, students and researchers together to share existing research, develop best practice case studies and plan future research. By doing so we aim to contribute to the practice and theory of hospitality in healthcare. The first meeting had a presentation on research initiatives from Dr Onno Guicherit, surgical oncologist in Leiden who stressed the value of allowing medical, hospitality and facilities students to see through each others’ lenses.


In the break-our sessions participants discussed key research topics including how to gather data in an ethically-responsible way, the impact of hospitality on the patient and staff experiences of hospitals, hospitals as institutional organisations, the patient journey and the staff journey, building relationships, the importance of the physical environment, the role of hospitality ambassadors, signage, hospitality education for staff, Covid19, technology and the patient, vacancies in hospitality and healthcare, tracking research outputs in the field.

As a result of the above areas the HHEP members propose to do the following:

1. Have monthly Hospitality & Healthcare Learning Community gatherings online with academics, industry partners and students

2. Develop a platform for industry for announcing traineeships and research projects for students

3. Organise an annual seminar for the HHEP community to meet and discuss a chosen topic

4. Support each other in applying for grants and research projects

5. Seek out external funding opportunities and sponsorships

6. Develop a book for education and industry to use as a training resource

7. Publish a special issue in a per-reviewed academic journal on hospitality and healthcare.


For further information and contacts in the five hotel schools please send an email to or