The School of Hospitality and Tourism was established in 1963 as a Division of Bulawayo Polytechnic. It its inception, it had an enrolment of 12 students and 1 lecturer. Its maximum capacity was 40 students, given the constraints of equipment, manpower and buildings.
The School developed in leaps and bounds over the years and in 1993, a complex for the School was constructed and officially opened by the Honourable Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Dr I. S G Mudenge.
In 1997-98, the School was earmarked for commercialisation in line with Government policy with the specific mandate to generate revenue from operations and be able to retain the funds in the school without compromising access and affordability to the people of the Republic of Zimbabwe. The School was also tasked to produce highly trained graduates for the Hospitality industry with adequate and appropriate experience
To date, the School has grown its enrolment to 700 students and 40 lecturers. The school also has 15 employees on the operations side. The School offers conventional training in Tourism and Hospitality Management, Food And Beverage Mngt, Professional Cookery and Bakery Studies up to Higher National Diploma. Informal sector support programmes are also offered to those who do not possess the requisite qualifications.
Modes of training have also been diversified to suit the needs of the market with courses being offered on full time, part time basis and block release. In realisation of the strategic importance of having its presence in Harare, the school has established a satellite campus housed at the Management Training Bureau old site with a current student enrolment of 100. Courses are offered in Tourism and Hospitality Management, Professional Cookery and Food And Beverage Mngt.
The School of Hospitality and Tourism is also a Hexco regional centre for Matabeleland North province where it is mandated to co-ordinate and supervises and the operations of private colleges and secondary schools that offer HEXCO exams. This recognition gives the school equal status with other nine polytechnic colleges in the country.
In a bid to enhance student training and move towards the realisation of the Ministry’s policy on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), the school established Hotel St Patricks.
Hotel St Patrick’s is a business unit of the School of Hospitality and Tourism is situated about 1km from the central business district. It opened its doors in 2011. It was officially handed over to the School of Hospitality and Tourism in September 2012 by Dr W.T. Mbizvo. It was commissioned by the late Minister of Higher and Tertiary education Dr. I.S.G Mudenge.