Launched on June 30, 2020, “Hospitality Challenge” is an initiative by World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Sommet Education that aimed to foster the recovery of the hospitality industry through creative and innovative projects submitted by entrepreneurs, start-uppers, students, career changers and anyone passionate about the industry.
The initiative will grant 30 scholarships for world class education programmes and support career climbers and switchers, entrepreneurs and innovators develop themselves and their projects and so help drive tourism’s recovery.
Around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought tourism to a standstill. Now, as the sector restarts, this 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.
The competition will focus on four different categories:
- Luxury travels, goods and services
- Hotels and hotel related operations: small to medium sized properties, family businesses
- Food and Beverage: restaurants, catering, delivery services and retail
- Smart Real Estate: small to medium sized properties and family businesses
Among almost 600 applications received from all over the world, 30 top finalists have been granted a full-board scholarship for Master programs, MBA’s, and other specialized programs in Hospitality, Culinary and Pastry Arts. All of them are hosted by Sommet Education’s internationally renowned institutions: Glion Institute of Higher Education, Les Roches, and École Ducasse.
Hospitality Challenge Pitch is a series of online discussions with UNWTO experts and tourism leaders, revealing some of the winners of the “Hospitality Challenge. They will share insights on the state of tourism and hospitality, and the prospective solutions to restart tourism.
Starting from 21st January 2021, weekly between 4.30pm and 5.30pm CET and over a course of 4 weeks, Hospitality Challenge Pitch online sessions held on LinkedIn will focus on topics essential in building back hospitality industry.
Hospitality Challenge Pitch Online Events Schedule
21st January 2021
“What’s Next in Jobs & Education”
The first session shall be moderated by Hervé de Gouvion Saint-Cyr, Founder & President of TalentriCity. The session will take off by a discussion between Stéphane Rousseau, Chief People Officer at Sommet Education, Natalia Bayona, Director of Innovation, Education and Investments at UNWTO, and Francois Delahaye, Chief Operating Officer at Dorchester Collection.
It will be followed by three of the top 30 winning pitches by Zeynep Demirbilek, Founder & Chief Executive Officer at the start-up “Service Club Delivery”, Roger Obeid, Glion Alumnus and Founder & General Manager at ORHC presenting “Join F&B”, and Diego Camacho, General Manager at Movich Hotels, presenting “Human Talent Solutions – HUTS”.
28th January 2021
“What’s next in Safety & Hospitality Experience”
The second session will be led by Michael Collins, Founder of TravelMedia.ie and Abroad Magazine. He will leave floor to Barbara Czyzewska, Head of Luxury Marketing and Brand Management at Glion Institute of Higher Education, Alessandra Priante, Director of Regional Department of Europe at UNWTO, and Quentin Desurmont, Chief Executive Officer at Traveller Made, who will converse over the state of the industry.
The pitches shall then be presented for three of 30 winning projects: “TrekSecure Contagion Response” presented by Matthew Hiller, President & Founder of the company, “Lemonade Social” pitched by Ipshita Kumar, Les Roches Marbella Alumnus and Head of Partnerships of the business, and “Hosbot” project introduced by Nikhil Roy, Les Roches Crans-Montana Alumnus and Reservations Sales Manager at Coorg Cliffs Resort & Spa.
4th February 2021
“What’s next in Revenue & Productivity”
The third session will be guided by Damon Embling, Journalist at Euronews and Director at Headline Media UK. Joining in the panel discussion will be Jonathan Humphries, Head of International Hotel Development & Asset Management Specializations at Glion Institute of Higher Education and Chairman and Owner at HoCoSo, Sandra Carvao, Chief of Market Intelligence and Competitiveness at UNWTO, and Marc Vieilledent, Chief Development Officer at easyHotel Plc.
The three winning project pitches will afterwards be presented by Miguel Escobar, Co-founder at “Komodore” presenting the company, Ronald Homsy, Glion Alumnus, Managing Director at Scopum et Finem and founder of “Firsctlasset” presenting the business, and Ksenia Kartseva, a professional passionate about hospitality presenting the idea of “TipTrip.com”.
11th February 2021
“What’s next in Waste reduction & Sustainability”
The final session of the online event series will be run by Rajan Datar, Broadcaster, Journalist and Writer at BBC. The experts sharing their analysis of the situation will be Dr. Dimitrios Diamantis, Professor and Dean of Graduate Studies at Les Roches Crans-Montana, Ph. D. Manuel Butler, Executive Director at UNWTO, and Jochem-Jan Sleiffer, President Middle East, Africa & Turkey at Hilton.
The selected projects pitched in this session will be “Recotrak” by Rodrigo Gratianne, Les Roches Crans-Montana Alumnus and Founder of the business, “Viridescent” by Barthélémy Deslarzes, Les Roches Crans-Montana Alumnus, and “Little Big Travel” by Katia Rivera, Behavioral Scientist at Vauxoo.
All panel discussions and project pitches will be followed by an interactive Q&A session with the experts. Registratrion is also available on Linkedin Event.