Editorial Team

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 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. 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, family businesses
• Food and Beverage: restaurants, catering, delivery services and retail
• Smart Real Estate: small to medium-sized properties and family businesses

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “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 restart tourism, the time is right to rethink hospitality and to identify and implement new ideas to make the sector more inclusive and sustainable. The UNWTO Hospitality Challenge will do just this.”

Benoit-Etienne Domenget, Chief Executive Officer at Sommet Education added: “This crisis presents us with an opportunity to reconcile visions of the world that have been too long opposed to inventing the hospitality of tomorrow. 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.”

The competition is open now and will close at the end of August. A Selection Committee made up of an international network of investors, entrepreneurs and experts from UNWTO Member, Affiliate Members and strategic allies, as well as from representatives of Sommet Education, will then choose 30 finalists.

The 30 finalists will be eligible for full scholarships in 15 different programmes in Hospitality, Culinary and Pastry Arts Management, (Bachelors, Masters, MBAs) offered in the world-class 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, leading global investment group from which Sommet Education is a portfolio company. This will offer the three winners even more chances of success for their projects.

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