With this college diploma you have excellent career opportunities on the national and international level


Here you can find success stories of our alumni:


Markus Platzer

General Manager ANA Intercontinental Tokyo

Alumni 1989

 Markus Platzer In this role Markus oversees the ANA Intercontinental Tokyo, which remains one of our largest properties worldwide both in terms of rooms and total revenue in addition to the Strings Intercontinental Tokyo and the Crowne Plaza Narita.


ANA Intercontinental Tokyo 











Kathrin Haas

Alumni 2009

 Kathrin Haas My name is Kathrin Haas. In June 2009 I graduated from the College of Tourism and Leisure Management in Bad Gleichenberg. Immediately after I finished my studies, I decided to launch myself into the working world. I applied for a position as receptionist with the Wein.Genuss.Hotel at the Polz Winery on the Poessnitzberg, and was accepted for the position. I worked for one year as a receptionist and in wine sales, but even at the time I felt the pull to go abroad. I first heard about working on cruise ships during the Recruiting Days at the Bad Gleichenberg Tourism Schools. After a lengthy period of collecting information, I decided to apply for jobs on cruise ships. The appeal of going out to see the world was simply too strong. I heard about Crystal Cruises through an acquaintance of mine and sent my application to the recruiting agency IC MA in Norway. Around two months later, all the formalities had been taken care of (visa, medical insurance, etc.) and in May 2010 I was off to Dubai to start my first contract, on the Crystal Symphony.

Crystal Cruises is a six-star luxury cruise line with two ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. The home port of the ships is Los Angeles and the shipping company is the NY K Line, based in Japan. The capacity of both ships is around 1,000 passengers and 600 crew members each. Both ships travel around the globe. The Crystal Symphony itself is already 20 years old but is still in mint condition. The ship has only outside cabins for guests, in order to offer the utmost luxury. Of course, this is only possible because the ship carries relatively “few” passengers compared to the large cruise lines such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Costa or Aida. In addition, the atmosphere on board is more pleasant and less “hectic“ than on the large ships carrying up to 5,000 or 6,000 passengers. As I already mentioned, I started my first contract on board the Crystal Symphony in May 2010, working as a waitress in the dining hall together with Carmen, a friend from the Bad Gleichenberg College. The first week on board was overwhelming: completely new people and cultures, plus, of course, the work. I adapted however very quickly to “life aboard ship”. Life at sea, working seven days a week, long working hours – it all takes some getting used to, but it’s a great way to see the world. Well, working seven days a week for five or six months – I can now say from my own experience - you get used to it very quickly.

Of course it’s hard, but if you want to do it, you can. One needs to be willing to do the work, and of course traveling the world is great compensation. Four to five hours of free time in different ports are enough time to see the most important things. And if you just don’t feel like going ashore, nothing stands in the way of a nap after lunch. Crew cabins are about the same size as a pantry, and, depending on rank, there are single and double cabins or cabins for four. As a waitress, you have to share a cabin with one other person. Bunk beds, two small wardrobe chests, limited stowage space and no window... but it was alright. Since you are working most of the time, you only use the cabin to sleep and, after all, you only need a bed for that. Life on board cannot be compared to life on land. Sometimes it almost seems like you are in a little fantasy world. You don’t drive to work, you only walk up a couple of steps to reach the office. You don’t pay rent, you don’t pay for electricity or heating. Somebody else washes and irons your clothes and even cleans your cabin..... It’s great actually, but you shouldn’t get used to these things because otherwise reality hits too hard when one returns home. Luckily, the positives on board the ship outweigh the negatives. For instance, seeing penguins in Antarctica, dolphins in the open sea, whales in Alaska or just cruising the Panama Canal. The most breath-taking aspect of all, however, is waking up in a different country almost every day.....

Thanks to the various nationalities of staff on board (most of the time over 50 different nationalities) you also get to know other cultures and perspectives on life. This reminds you again of the fact that Austria is surely one of the best places on earth to live. Unfortunately, not everyone is as well off as we are...

To come back to my work on the ship, my first contract on Crystal Symphony ended in October 2010, and I was overwhelmed by what I had learned and seen in only five months. At first I thought I would only stay for one contract term and then return to Austria to stay. Not so, it’s been almost four years now.


Sonja Rauch

Gault Millau restaurant head

Alumni 1997

Sonja Rauch In the year 1997, Sonja Rauch completed her degree at the College of Tourism and then began to gather professional experience at the “Post” in Lech at the Arlberg. Two years later, she had started her own business with the “Steira Wirt” restaurant in Trautmannsdorf. Her brother Richard, in the year 2000, after only one year at the Bad Gleichenberg Tourism Schools, traded his school desk for the stove in his sister’s restaurant. Their raw food products have been and continue to be provided by the family farm and butchery, run by their brother Johann. Thirteen years later, the collaboration of the three siblings is at its best and their endeavors have been recognized with a three toques rating for the second time.

In the latest “Gault Millau” it says, among other things: “In Austria, there are hundreds of wonderful traditional restaurants. But there is only one in which Richard Rauch cooks, and Richard Rauch astounds us each year anew. What RR at the age of not even 30 serves up for his ‘Gourmet Menu’ is simply top-class and absolutely belongs in the Austrian Premier League.” It further says: “The wines that restaurant owner Sonja Rauch serves are not only of the same superb quality as her brother’s creations but complement them with incredible perfection.”





Stefanie Kassarnig, MSc

Alumni 2010

Stefanie KassarnigI graduated from the Bad Gleichenberg Tourism Schools in 2010 with a diploma in Tourism and Leisure Management. I still have wonderful memories of those intense but amazing two years, from which I took so much for both my personal and professional futures. Reaching out for more, I went to Wales in order to study Hotel Management (BA , Hons) and later, to increase my knowledge of economics, on to Brussels to complete a master’s degree in Business Economics & Management.

After my graduation, a unique opportunity appeared, namely the chance to work in Malaysia as an event and communication manager. I organised internal, as well as external events and independently built up an internal Marcom department. These experiences abroad meant a lot to me – however, they showed me that despite all the lovely experiences, meeting many nice people, lots of beautiful new countries, there is only one HOME.

I had the good fortune to find a job in a great company very quickly after my return home. I have been working as an executive assistant at the Genussburg, in Breitenfeld an der Rittschein, since 1st July 2013. It is a great feeling to work for and in a region such as Styria. The Genussburg consists of three core parts: travel agency, store and online store.

Our travel agency, focused on incoming travelers, provides passionate guests of our region with information about accommodation, tourist attractions, and insider facts. Guests also have the possibility to book their vacation online at www.genussburgreisen.at. Our store offers regional delicacies of southeast Styria, which will also be available from the online store in future. I would make the same decision to attend the Bad Gleichenberg College of Tourism again: the professional and social contact, as well as the extraordinary reputation of the school is a great kickoff for any career.




Karl J. Pojer

Chairman Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

Alumni 1972

Karl J. Pojer

In the German-speaking regions, Hapag- Lloyd Cruises is one of the leading providers of luxury and expedition cruises. Its fleet includes the following ships. The EU ROPA offers pure luxury and has carried the prestigious 5-stars-plus ranking from the “Berlitz Cruise Guide” since it was commissioned. The EU ROPA 2 – the youngest member of the fleet – is a modern and casual luxury ship which does away with cruise traditions such as the captain’s dinner, and for the first time has received the distinction of a 5-stars-plus ranking from the 2014 “Berlitz Cruise Guide”.

The HANSEATIC (5-stars*) and BREMEN (4-stars-plus*) cruise ships offer passengers expedition experiences in every part of the world. The portfolio is complemented by air cruises in the luxurious ALBE RT BALLIN private jet – a particularly exclusive way to travel. Air cruises are offered in the German speaking markets only.

The cruise industry is a valuable and growing part of Germany’s economy with total sales of € 3.1 billion in 2012, the creation of new jobs and added value on shore. In 2012, the number of cruise passengers in Europe reached a record high of 6.139 million, meaning that the European cruise market has doubled in size in just eight years. The cruise market in Germany grew by 11 per cent, and with a share of 25 per cent, Germany is Europe’s second-largest cruise market. With a 12.7 per cent share of the total sales in the tour-operator market, cruises have now become an essential part of tourism services and a key driver of growth in the German tourism market. Increasing numbers of Germans are spending their holidays at sea, with almost two million – 1,980,897 passengers – booking a cruise in 2012. And there is plenty more potential to be tapped as just 1.5 per cent of Germans have undertaken an oceanic cruise so far. We are convinced that this fascination with sea cruises will continue in the coming years.


Gert F. Kopera

Senior Vice President Food & Beverage - Jumeirah Group Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Alumni 1983

 Gert F. Kopera

There is no place like home - but aspiring hoteliers are well advised to travel and spend several years of their careers abroad to gain the ever so important international experience. While Europe and the USA seem easier steps at first, the Middle East can offer a more condensed, a more challenging work and life experience.

United Arab Emirates
The playground of creativity; fast paced, visionary and an exceptionally good place to start an international career. The UAE and Dubai in particular is a multi-cultural, progressive and highly advanced arena for professionals from our industry. Dubai is home to the Burj Al Arab, the world’s most luxurious and iconic hotel, and professionals will find a myriad of truly exciting career opportunities in this vibrant city. Safe, pleasant to live in, central to Europe and the Far East and ever expanding, I can highly recommend to include the UAE and Dubai in particular in the quest to build a meaningful CV . All major international companies are represented with Jumeirah Group as possibly the most attractive employer.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Often ignored as a career choice, I recommend considering a stint in the “magic” Kingdom as career building block. Hotels and restaurants in particular are of utmost significance in business and social life and offer an ideal platform for the young professional to shine, learn and to progress. There are no limits to creativity, and little to distract from the job - but choose your employer well.

Qatar, Kuwait
Qatar is ever expanding and gains international recognition for its visionary projects. More liberal than Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, Qatar enjoys a significant boom in the hospitality sector. Kuwait is a well-established market, offering significant benefits to professionals in our field. Better considered at a later stage in the career.


Andreas Wickhoff

Master of Wine

Alumni 1997

 Andreas WickhoffAndreas Wickhoff is the managing director of Premium Estates of Austria, a group of the country's leading wineries. As the coordinator of this fine selection of growers, he partially assists in the production process but mostly travels around the world to promote the group's wines and spirits. Before establishing the association in 2004, he worked as a sommelier and wine buyer in Corsica, France and Vail, CO, USA. Andreas is a graduate of the College of Tourism and Hotel Management in Bad Gleichenberg, Austria, and completed a degree in Food & Hospitality Management at Martin College in Brisbane, AUS.








Jakob Trost

Worldclass Bartender 2014

Alumni 2012

 Jakob TrostJakob Trost was one of 12 Finalists who competed in two challenges to win the title: Swiss Bartender 2014. He made the second place in this amazing competition.


World Class 2014 Swiss Final - Zurich Youtube Videos



Project Get Around the World

Servus! Hi! Buenas días! Bonjour! Je m’appelle Jakob Trost. After my final degree at the Tourism Schools Bad Gleichenberg in 2012, I finally decided to go to Switzerland to dedicate myself to my passion, which is bar keeping and to learn from the best around the world. In Zurich I had an unforgettable time, I got to know important people and made experiences, which will accompany me for my entire life. Since my success at the DIA GEO – “World Class 2014“ I only wanted to do one thing: broaden my knowledge and travel around the world.

The bar keeping culture is not known only in Europe. That is why at the beginning of September I set off into the big wide world. I decided to do a world trip. I was always megalomaniac. 2 months? 4 months? 6 months? No, it should take me a year during which I decided to travel around the world and break out of the daily routine. If not now, then when would I? Within only a few months I planned the trip, searched for ideas and first of all I had big dreams. There are so many cities to discover, thus it is very hard to take a decision. After some research, though, it became clear to me:
Which continent could be more exciting and more inspiring for a young barkeeper than ASIA ! No sooner said than done.



Cornelia Stolzer

Hotel Director and Rooms Division Manager PROJEKT SPIELBER GMBH & CO KG

Alumni 2007

Cornelia Stolzer"Always pursue your aims and be proud of yourself", this is my life motto and the reason for my success. In 2007 I passed my final exams at the Tourism Schools “Bad Gleichenberg” and moved to the Region of Carinthia right away. Starting as receptionist, I worked myself up to the banquet management within a very short period of time. Only one year later and a way more experienced, I travelled through Germany to the marvellous island Spiekeroog. Once again, I was responsible for the reception and event department, but all of a sudden my life changed.

I had the chance to gain a foothold in the former “Dungl Medical Vital Resort” in Lower Austria. I started, afresh, as banquet manager but this time I ended my occupation as front office-, guest relation-, therapy- and event manager.

The former “ Dungl Medical Vital Resort” was closed down and reopened as “La pura women’s health resort”. After a short period of time my life was completely changed thanks to a big opportunity. I was given the chance to work in the position of the youngest hotel director all over Austria, in the little “Brauhotel Weitra” in Lower Austria. Since I missed Styria I went back home, where I became hotel director of the “Augartenhotel art & design”, owned by Dr. Helmut Marko (team manager of red bull racing), for the following two years. After a very short break, I found myself working with the company “Projekt Spielberg”. As Room Division Manager, I am responsible for the seven beautiful hotels of Mr. Dietrich Mateschitz, which makes me very happy. Of course, without the support and trust of my beloved family and husband none of it would have been possible.