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Hospitality Challenge: Ideas to help tourism recover in the new normal

NITN | @notintownlive | 17 Nov 2020

Hospitality Challenge: Ideas to help tourism recover in the new normal

Madrid: Results of the Hospitality Challenge launched by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Sommet Education in June 2020 are eagerly awaited now, according to a release by the international tourism body.

The competition 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 release said.

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.”

The initiative has received almost 600 applications from all 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 programs.

All of them are hosted by Sommet’s internationally renowned institutions specialized in Hospitality and Culinary Arts: Glion Institute of Higher Education, Les Roches, and École Ducasse.

Benoît-Etienne Domenget, Sommet Education CEO, said, “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.”

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, 39 per cent were submitted from the Americas, followed by Europe (28 per cent), Africa and the Middle East (both 18 per cent), and Asia and the Pacific (15 per cent).

The Hospitality Challenge focused on four categories.

The Hotels and Hotel-Related Operations category was the most popular, receiving 41 per cent of all applications, followed by the Luxury Travels, Goods and Services category (34 per cent), then the Food and Beverage category (17 per cent), and finally the Smart Real Estate category (8 per cent).

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, according to UNWTO.

Almost 50 per cent of the projects address Sustainable Development Goal 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Many projects also offer new perspectives on the COVID-19 response.

Winners will be announced in March 2021.

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