Jana Jeschek is professional in the hotel industry, the former director of hotels in Switzerland and currently the hotel consultant in the hospitality business.
Following the wish of my parents my original intention was to study law in Prague. Due to high demand and a lack of study places I had to wait one year and looked for temporary alternatives. In that time I met my best friend who was receptionist in the best hotel in town and the future has begun.
During my internship I met my former husband who was from southern Germany and felt in love. We got married in 1987 and I followed him to southern Germany, near the Swiss border.
The German side is rather rural, so I looked for a job over the border in Switzerland. Missing the knowledge of French language I both myself a book «Learn French in 2 weeks» and began my career in Swissôtel in Basel. After 25 years I was curious how Czech Republic developed after the revolution and accepted an offer as a General Manager in Prague. After two wonderful years there my private situation forced me to go back and I moved to Switzerland entirely, not only for work.
Basel – Prague – Lucerne – Basel – Zurich: now I look back at wonderful 35 years of hospitality and don’t want to miss any of the stages in my life. Today I act as advisor for a hotel investor and use my knowledge to serve «on the other side».
Dear Jana, you have very impressive curriculum vitae. How did you get to Switzerland?
I came to Switzerland 33 years ago because of love. The love left after a while, I stayed.
Would you share with us the experience what impact is the Covid-19 crisis having on the hospitality industry in Switzerland?
Here in Switzerland, the impact of Covid-19 is much different in the cities than in the Alps. While big cities suffer from a lack of international travel, the hotels in the mountains benefit from domestic tourism. Our ski slopes are open by the way.
Have you seen any new industry trends appear?
Swiss are very proud people loving and supporting their country and spending their vacation in the home country during the pandemic crisis. Together with the sustainability thinking there may be a movement towards «green vacation», e.g. rather hiking in the Alps than flying abroad in the future.
What do you think, what will the economic landscape be like for hotel industry players?
The president of hotelleriesuisse said recently: the travel & hospitality landscape will never be the same after the crisis. I completely share his opinion. Not only changes in the leisure travel behavior are to be expected but also less business travel and meetings. There is a clear trend of hybrid conferences and online meetings coming up.
Do you know some hoteliers who were a good example in this Covid situation?
For me the best practice example in the crisis was a private hotelier who converted his bar to a grocery store overnight to have at least some income.
Will you share with us your opinion about the anti Covid programs in Switzerland and Czech Republic?
The Covid programs in Switzerland and in the Czech Republic are very similar. I was really impressed how quickly the Czech government implemented the Antivirus program and I truly hope that there will be a permanent «Kurzarbeit» model available after the crisis.
May you compare the Covid behavior of people in Czech Republic and Switzerland?
In my opinion, in both countries, people’s expectations of governmental compensations are very high and taken as given. In the most countries in the world people are left to themselves. So, we should be grateful for any help, stay optimistic and open to new opportunities.
Jana, thank you very much for the interview, you are an example that dreams could come true…
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