This study aimed to analyze the obstacles to knowledge creation and scientific research in tourism and hospitality that Swiss hotel schools face. A case study approach was adopted to analyze the research practices of the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL). Multiple sources of data were collected for the case study, including the documentation of Swiss higher education governance, brochures of educational programs from selected hotel schools (including EHL), and archival records on research output from EHL. This study shows that knowledge creation and research production are largely constrained by Swiss higher education regulation. Also, not only are Swiss hotel schools trapped by a vocational ethos, but they are unwilling to break it because of the priority to legitimize their educational programs. We argue that EHL research practice is a lens through which we can portray an alternative approach to knowledge production and transfer in Swiss hospitality education.