The beginnings of a professional education for hotel workers can be traced to the period before the first World War, when the Italian hotel industry experienced a labour shortage that limited its development. According to hoteliers’ opinion, this difficulty was caused by the absence of an adequate training. As a consequence, from about 1900 the Italian Hoteliers Association carried out several attempts to open specific schools. Unfortunately, none of them were successful, and the first school for hotel workers was opened by the Italian Touring Club as late as 1914. After World War I educational facilities for hotel workers conaiderably increased, partly thanks to the State’s intervention through special bodies such as Enit or Enfala, and in the wake of the reform of technical schools. In spite of these initiatives, however, it is the author’s view that this branch of professional training continued to lag behind the achievements of other countries, in particular Switzerland and Germany.
Keywords: Education; hotel industry; tourism; Italy; twentieth century; state intervention.