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ABOUT US

Bella Vista Institute of Higher Education Switzerland (BVIS) has become the official UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization) education centre. With its new International Centre associated with UNWTO Academy, it plans to develop a strong network in a variety of industries. Bella Vista Institute of Higher Education is a full-fledged business school offering Bachelor's, Masters, and Doctoral programs. Our unique ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) approach and emphasis make BVIS the right developmental educational centre for those outstanding individuals that want to make an impact in the industry and in the world.

"The United Nations World Tourism Organization is proud to introduce a new International Centre in the heart of Switzerland, dedicated to the state of the art tourism training in close partnership between the UNWTO Academy and Bella Vista Institute of Higher Education." Zurab Pololikashivili, Secretary General of UNWTO.

 

BVIS has developed globally recognized degree programs in collaboration with universities in the UK, Malta and Switzerland, to provide unique tailored programs. Our pedagogical philosophy is in-class learning journeys, facilitated by world-class professors & industry leaders with practical experience. To this end, we developed an intense internship program with a vast set of partners.

Additionally, UNWTO launched its first Online Education Committee. The First meeting of the Online Education program took place today, online, with the presence of high-level representatives from the public and private sectors, with the objective to make education a key pillar for tourism´s recovery. The committee counts on Rui Zhou member of the council to support these new innovative initiatives as Investing in the tourism workers of today and tomorrow is more relevant than ever.

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PARTNERS & ACCREDITATIONS

MEET THE TEAM​

The Council
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Dr. István Ujhelyi

President of Council

A Member of the European Parliament from 2014 until today, Vice-Chair of TRAN Committee (Transport and Tourism) and Member of ENVI Committee (Environment, Public Health and Food Safety). MP in the Hungarian National Assembly from 2002 and Deputy Speaker between 2010-2014. State-Secretary in the Prime Minister's office, Chair of the National Tourism Committee. Special Ambassador of UNWTO. He is founder and president of the Confucius Institute at the University of Szeged.

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Dr. Mario Hardy

Member of Council

The former Chairman of the PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association Foundation) and the former PATA CEO for over a decade. With extensive philanthropic project achievements and extensive experiences in leadership, corporate development with government ministers and chief executives. A strong dedication to sustainability, through tourism development. Also has been honoured with a “Global Peace Ambassador” award. The Envoy for the Sustainable Tourism Global Centre (STGC) in Saudi Arabia.

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Dr. László Andor

Member of Council

Former EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and former member of the Board of Directors at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD, London). Currently Secretary General of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS, Brussels), Senior Fellow at Hertie School and Visiting Professor at ULB. He also was Head of Department of Economic Policy at Corvinus University (Budapest) and lectured at Sciences Po.

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Rui Zhou

Member of Council

Director of the UNWTO International Centre associated with UNWTO Academy and Special Advisor on Education to the Secretary-General. Founding Member of UNWTO online education committee. Founder of Bella Vista Group of Companies which operates hotels & resorts, and cruise ships worldwide.

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Dr. Jean-Jacques de Dardel

Member of Council

Mr. de Dardels was the former Swiss Ambassador to China, Belgium and France, as well as former Head of Mission of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and UNESCO. He is the founder and president of Lemania International School and guest Prof of University of Zurich. With his knowledge, he will contribute to the Diplomacy & International Relationship program.

Leadership
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David Hailstones
Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer

In addition to his MBA from Queen Margaret University (QMU), David Hailstones is a fellow of the Institute of Hospitality in the United Kingdom. With over 15 years of management experience in the award-winning luxury hotels & resorts sector and also over 15 years in educational leadership positions in Switzerland & Europe. He has a present keen interest in global sustainable actions in the hospitality and tourism industries, healthcare and wellbeing, through his work with the UNWTO.

R. Max Behesht

Vice President & Executive Dean

The former Dean of César Ritz Colleges and Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland, and Global Engagement Ambassador of Swiss Education Group. He's a multilingual keynote speaker and founder of R.M.B. Group, specializing in Hospitality, Customer Experience, Employee Engagement, and Leadership. Author of 'The Servicizer™ Mindset,' he is dedicated to enhancing Hospitality Excellence and Organizational Excellence across the world. With a dynamic career spanning education, finance, and global operations, his diverse experience positively influencesstudents worldwide. His international master-level academic journey includes Gothenburg University, Sweden, European Business School, EBS, Germany, and Kobe University, Japan. 

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Dr. Francesco Masetti Placci

Chief Academic Officer

Dr. Masetti holds a Ph.D in Electronic Engineering and Computer Science from University of Bologna (I), a Master’s Degree in Information Technology from the Polytechnic of Milan (I) and an Executive MBA from University of Aix-Marseille (F). He has 35 years of professional experience as teacher, professor, as a school administrator and has been a corporate executive for 15 years. He has taught Statistics, Mathematics, Quantitative Analysis and Physics courses in Universities and Secondary Schools in Italy, France, USA and China and written many scholar papers about Internet technologies and innovation strategy.

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Nicoletta Scalabrin

Coordinator for Secondary Education

Ms. Scalabrin has a B.A in Arts and Literature from University Ca’ Foscari in Venice, a M.A. in Comparative Literature from La Sorbonne in Paris, a PGCSE in Literature from the University of Nottingham. Mrs. Scalabrin has 35 years of teaching experience in Languages, Literature and Arts in various International Schools in Italy, France, China and the US where she was also an assistant professor of English and French literature at the University of Texas at Dallas.

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Attila Benedek

Special Advisor

Attila Benedek is an experienced Policy Adviser with a history of working in the political organization industry. Skilled in European Studies, International Relations, Management, Transport and Tourism Policy Analysis, and Diplomacy. Strong finance professional with a Master’s degree focused in International Relations and National Security Studies from Corvinus University of Budapest. Leader in working on new technologies, including the electric car, energy as well as digital policy in relation to the growing challenges posed by tourism and transport.

Admissons & Marketing
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Maria Helgesson

Head of Global Admissions & Marketing

Maria Helgesson holds a Master´s degree in Business Administration and Bachelor´s degree in Psychology from Stockholm University, Sweden. She has over 10 years of experience within international education, student admission and marketing. Having previously lived and worked in Sweden, Hungary, South Korea, USA and Switzerland, she is a passionate believer in education and cultural exchange. She makes sure that students and families have everything they need to make a well-informed decision about joining Bella Vista Institute of Higher Education.

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Henar Acebes

Marketing Manager

Henar Acebes holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration with a Major in Business Development & Promotion from Hochschule Luzern. She has over 5 years of experience in Marketing & Event Management and worked for a variety of national and international scaled events. Having previously completed a Bachelor's in the subject at Dublin Business School in Ireland, her international experience enables her to support different cultural backgrounds and creating events for the community as well as developing a strong image and brand at Bella Vista Institute of Higher Education.

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Lorraine Arnold

Admission & Marketing Coordinator

Lorraine Arnold holds a degree as office administrator from KV Luzern. She has over 10 years of working experience in real estate and customer service. She lived and worked in Buenos Aires, Zurich and Andermatt and is delighted to settle with her family in her hometown within an international enviroment. She is dedicated to ensure students well-being.

Industry Lectures
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Csilla Mezősi

Lecturer

Ms Csilla Mezősi is the Secretary-General of the European Spas Association (ESPA). She has over 20 years of experience of tourism management in a variety of countries. Lecturer for a diverse number of universities across Europe. She is highly experienced in project management in the field of healthcare tourism across key markets. Strategic development & hotel investments from a city-level to national-government supported projects.

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Urs Pilz

Lecturer

 

Mr Urs Pilz is the Vice-President of the International Circus Festival in Monte Carlo & named President of the European Circus Association (E.C.A) and President of World Circus Association. These Organizations aim the promotion of the Art and Culture of the Circus in Europe and all over the world. As Chief adviser of Circus Krone in Munich and later in the Committee of the Festival International du Cirque de Monte Carlo, at first, as Coordinator of the Jury and personal Adviser of Prince Rainier III for matter of Circus, Mr. Pilz had a key role to have Circus art and culture well-recognised.

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Tony Zahra

Lecturer

Former EU Mandate of the European Economic Social Council and Senior Vice President of the Federation of Industries. Current Council Member of the Malta Chamber of Commerce and the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association, where he holds the position of President of the Association. Founder Mediterranean Tourism Foundation which was established to bring together representatives from all Mediterranean countries to promote and lobby joint actions in favour of Mediterranean Tourism.

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Tamás Flesch

Lecturer

 

Accomplished and motivated leader with over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Within the last decade he managed and participated in a number of investments in the hotel sector. His objective is to offer quality hotel and restaurant services, creating a premium product. As Managing Director his aim is to steer the company with strategic insight. President of the Hungarian Hotel and Restaurant Association 2019-2021. His motto is that a company is either growing or regressing, therefore he is open to any new project which allows CG growing and developing.

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Isabella de Monte

Lecturer

Isabella De Monte Former mayor of the city of Pontebba, Italy and Senator of the Italian Parliament. She was a Member of the European Parliament from 2014 to 2019 she has worked on a number of policy issues, with a particular emphasis in and around the transport and tourism sectors, where her work has been widely recognised and praised. Her TRAN committee report on ‘New challenges and concepts for the promotion of tourism in Europe’ represents one of her most significant achievements.

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Nikos Mertzanidis

Lecturer

Director, European Government Affairs at Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) in Brussels. He develops, presents, negotiates, and implements European industry positions on legislative, regulatory, and policy matters involving taxation, port & destination, public health, crew and visa issues. Secretary to the CLIA Europe Port & Destination Advisory Committee and the Taxation, Labour Affairs and Public Health Working Groups. Previously, he had been working as junior political adviser in the Constitutional Affairs Committee of the European Parliament.

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