The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Sommet Education are supporting training in the tourism industry through the global Hospitality Challenge initiative.
The Hospitality Challenge was launched to identify new ideas and individuals capable of accelerating the recovery of the tourism sector in the wake of COVID-19.
“The tourism professionals of tomorrow must embrace new ideas, new voices and the full diversity the sector has to offer. This competition highlights the best that global tourism and hospitality have to offer. It shows how innovators from around the world can keep tourism, hospitality and travel at the very forefront of sustainable development and positive change for all,” said UNWTO Secretary General, Zurab Pololikashvili.
To date, the initiative has received about 600 applications from around the world. The 30 top finalists will be granted a full-board scholarship for Bachelor or Master’s degree-level courses at 30 different hospitality programmes. They are all hosted by Sommet’s internationally renowned institutions that specialise in hospitality and culinary arts: Glion Institute of Higher Education, Les Roches, and École Ducasse.
Bringing the submitted projects to life and increasing their chances of impacting the tourism sector has been the driving force of this challenge. The three most entrepreneurial projects among the 30 winners will receive seed money from Eurazeo, the leading global investment group to which Sommet Education belongs.
The challenge focused on four categories. Hotels and Hotel-Related Operations was the most popular category, receiving 41% of all applications, followed by the Luxury Travel Goods and Services category (34%), the Food and Beverage category (17%) and Smart Real Estate (8%).
The breakdown of the different categories demonstrates a strong interest in improving the operational side of hotels through its social impact, with many projects aiming to reduce unemployment and better manage hotel staff.
Trends that emerged among the submissions included waste reduction and sustainability, jobs, and education and safety.
A large number of the high-quality projects promoted inclusivity and sustainability to reinvent hospitality, and provided fresh ideas for the tourism sector.
The winners will be announced in March 2021. The top 30 finalists can be viewed by clicking here.
“We are thrilled to welcome so many diversified talents in our institutions next year. The variety of backgrounds and profiles will be a source of creativity and bring fresh perspectives to all,” said Sommet Education CEO, Benoît-Etienne Domenget.