Finalists Emerge In UNWTO, Sommet Education Hospitality Challenge

by Olamilekan Okeowo

30 finalists have emerged from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Sommet Education Hospitality Challenge. The  finalists emerged from over 600 applications that were received.

Out of the 600 applications, 39% were submitted from the Americas, followed by Europe (28%), Africa and the Middle East (both 18%), and Asia and the Pacific (15%).

Three winning projects will be announced in March 2021 out of the 30 selected finalists.

“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 and “Food safety and organic food production” are amongst the finalist chosen.

They will be joined by “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 On learning” – Online Hospitality learning platform, “HUTS” – HR management support and “Join F&B” – Recruitment of disabled people service

Others are “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” – and 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 and “Young Hotelier Network”- Social impact community integration make up the 30 finalists.

The 30 top finalists will then be granted a full-board scholarship for Bachelor or Master’s degree-level courses at 30 different hospitality programs. All of them to be hosted by Sommet’s internationally renowned institutions specialized in Hospitality and Culinary Arts: Glion Institute of Higher Education, Les Roches, and École Ducasse.

The Hospitality Challenge focused on four categories: Hotels and Hotel-Related Operations; Luxury Travels, Goods and Services; Food and Beverage, and Smart Real Estate category. 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.

Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General, UNWTO, expressed his excitement at the new ideas, trends and innovations brought to the challenge which will keep tourism, hospitality, and travel at the very forefront of sustainable development and positive change.

“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” he said

On his part, Benoît-Etienne Domenget, Sommet Education Chief Executive Officer, CEO expressed his delights at welcoming diverse talent next year.

“We are thrilled to welcome so many diversified talents in our institutions next year. The variety of backgrounds and profiles will source of creativity and bring fresh perspectives to all” he added.

Recall that in June 2020, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Sommet Education launched the Hospitality Challenge which was designed to identify ideas and individuals capable of accelerating the recovery of the tourism sector in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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