LAUSANNE, Switzerland — The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has partnered with Sommet Education for an innovative Hospitality Challenge. The initiative will grant 30 scholarships for world-class education programs and support career climbers and switchers, entrepreneurs and innovators develop themselves and their projects.
As the sector recovers from COVID-19, the competition is designed to identify ideas and individuals capable of accelerating recovery, while promoting inclusivity and sustainability in the sector, to invent the hospitality of tomorrow. Selection criteria include the degree of disruptiveness, project maturity and potential for implementation, as well as viability, scalability, digitalization, sustainability and the potential to attract the interest of investors. The competition will focus on four different categories:
- luxury travels, goods and services
- hotels and hotel-related operations (small- to medium-sized properties an family businesses)
- food and beverage (restaurants, catering, delivery services and retail)
- smart real estate (small- to medium-sized properties and family businesses)
“The tourism sector is a source of employment for many millions. Jobs in tourism provide opportunity, empowerment and equality, including for women, youth and people living in rural communities. As we re-start tourism, the time is right to re-think hospitality and to identify and implement new ideas to make the sector more inclusive and sustainable,” says Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-general, UNWTO. “The UNWTO Hospitality Challenge will do just this.”
The competition is now open and will close at the end of August. A selection committee comprised of an international network of investors, entrepreneurs and experts from UNWTO members, affiliate members and strategic allies, as well as from representatives of Sommet Education, will then choose 30 finalists.
Finalists will be eligible for full scholarships in 15 different programmes in Hospitality, Culinary and Pastry Arts Management (Bachelors, Masters, MBAs) offered in the academic institutions of Sommet Education: Glion Institute of Higher Education in Switzerland and London, Les Roches Crans-Montana in Switzerland, Les Roches Marbella in Spain and École Ducasse in France.
Among the 30 winners, the top three most innovative entrepreneurial projects will be granted funding to support their initial development. These projects will be funded by Eurazeo, a leading global-investment group from which Sommet Education is a portfolio company.
“This crisis presents us with an opportunity to reconcile visions of the world that have been too long opposed to invent the hospitality of tomorrow,” says Benoit-Etienne Domenget, Chief Executive Officer, Sommet Education. “We believe education is the foundation of a more hospitable world. Offering scholarships is a contribution to the recovery of the hospitality economy, by accelerating the personal development of talented people with creative views, supporting their vision and revamp hospitality.”
More information on the competition and on how to apply can be found on the Hospitality Challenge webpage.