In June 2020, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Sommet Education launched the Hospitality Challenge. This was designed to identify ideas and individuals capable of accelerating the recovery of the tourism sector in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative has received almost 600 applications from all around the world. The 30 top finalists will be granted a full-board scholarship for Master’s, MBA’s, and Postgraduate degree-level courses as well as specializations in 30 different Hospitality, Culinary and Pastry Art programs. All of them are hosted by Sommet Education’s internationally renowned institutions: Glion Institute of Higher Education, Les Roches, and École Ducasse.
The scholarships are dedicated to accelerating the personal development of talented individuals who will build the Hospitality of Tomorrow. 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.
Out of the 600 applications, around 40% were submitted from the Americas, followed by Europe (30%), Africa and the Middle East (both 20%), and Asia and the Pacific (10%).
Putting People and Planet First
The Hospitality Challenge focused on four categories. The Hotels and Hotel-Related Operations category was the most popular, receiving around 40% of all applications, followed by the Luxury Travels, Goods and Services category (35%), then the Food and Beverage category (15%), and finally the Smart Real Estate category (10%). 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 the better management of hotel staff.
Among the four categories, four eminent trends have emerged: waste reduction and sustainability, jobs and education, safety and travel experience, as well as revenue and productivity. Almost 50% of the projects address Sustainable Development Goal 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth. Many projects also offer new perspectives on the COVID-19 response.
A large number of high-quality projects promoting inclusivity and sustainability to reinvent the Hospitality of Tomorrow also provides fresh ideas for the tourism sector. These will allow tourism hospitality and travel to keep on contributing to overall socio-economic recovery.
Top 3 Winners to be Announced in March 2021
UNWTO and Sommet Education would like to thank all the participants, innovators and entrepreneurs for their enthusiasm and contributions to the Hospitality Challenge, and to congratulate the 30 selected finalists.
UNWTO Secretary General, Zurab Pololikashvili said: “The tourism of tomorrow must embrace new ideas, new voices and the full diversity the sector has to offer. This competition highlights the best global tourism and hospitality has 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.”
Benoît-Etienne Domenget, Sommet Education CEO adds: “We are thrilled to welcome so many diversified talents in our institutions next year. The variety of backgrounds and profiles will be source of creativity and bring fresh perspectives to all.”
Out of the following 30 selected finalists, the three winning projects will be announced in March 2021:
- “Chartok” – Hotel Collaboration Software
- “Coliving Hotels” – Medium and long-term shared housing rentals
- “Digital Butler” – Personalized guest assistance
- “Digital Concierge” – Digitalized guest experience
- “FirstClasset” – Asset model and payment process
- “Food safety and organic food production”
- “GauVendi” – Retail system
- “Go-Travel direct hotel booking club” – Data driven direct booking club
- “Hogaru” – Cleaning and facility management provider
- “Hosbot” – Digital Hospitality assistant
- “Hospitality Onlearning” – Online Hospitality learning platform
- “HUTS” – HR management support
- “Join F&B” – Recruitment of disabled people service
- “Komodore” – Guest management automation
- “Lemonade Social” – Experience driven e-commerce
- “Little Big Travel” – Experience travel provider
- “Luxury Origin” – Immersive customizable luxury experience
- “Mes Petites Feuilles” – Urban SmartFarming
- “Olappa Linens” – Sustainable linen
- “Recotrak” – Certification process for food donation
- “Searchef” – Food & Beverage sharing platform
- “Service Club Delivery” – Recruitment solution
- “SiliconBali” – Youth employability
- “Travel Seeds” – Sustainable on-line booking platform
- “TrekSecure” – Covid contagion response application
- “Tiptrip” – On-line guest comment management
- “Viridescent” – Eco-friendly on-line booking platform
- “Virtual Hospitality Research Platform” – Research Hospitality platform
- “Woof Together” – Standards in pet-friendly hospitality
- “Young Hotelier Network”- Social impact community integration
More information on the winners can be found on the Hospitality Challenge website.
About the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations specialized agency fostering tourism as a vehicle for equal, inclusive and sustainable development. Working with its Member States, international organizations and the private sector, UNWTO promotes safe and seamless travel for all. UNWTO also works to make tourism the foundation of trust and international cooperation and a central pillar of recovery from adversity. As part of the wider UN system, UNWTO is at the forefront of global efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including through its ability to create decent jobs, promote equality and preserve natural and cultural heritage.
About Sommet Education
Sommet Education, global leader in hospitality management and culinary arts is committed to develop the Hospitality leaders of tomorrow. The group encompasses 3 world-class academic institutions: Glion, Les Roches, and Ecole Ducasse, with campuses in Switzerland, Spain, China, the UK, and France. These offer bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and diplomas through academic excellence and a dynamic multicultural environment. Sommet Education is the only education network with two institutions ranked among the world’s top three for hospitality education and employer reputation (QS World University).