Facing up to the toughest times of a generation, the World Tourism Organization and Sommet Education share the conviction that this unprecedented challenge also entails the opportunity for the Hospitality industry not only to come back, but to grow better and hence stronger.

It is a unique opportunity to restart tourism in a more balanced, innovative and sustainable way, with Hospitality as one of its driving forces. The time is right to foster new ideas, offer a new industry paradigm and shift consumption habits.

World trade, travel and leisure can grow back while respecting limited natural resources and engaging deeper with local communities and businesses.

Application guidelines can be found here

To this end, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Sommet Education present a hospitality challenge which aim is to collect fresh ideas, to foster new approaches in the sector and a shift towards sustainability and innovation.

This Hospitality Challenge is the result of the partnership between UNWTO and Sommet Education, global leader in Hospitality education. This call for applications to the challenge aims to reach the most disruptive startups, entrepreneurs and innovators to drive impact on Hospitality sector in 4 different categories, taking a step forward for Sustainable Development in the recovery efforts.

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Target Audience

We are looking for Startups, entrepreneurs and innovators from all over the world with solutions to boost the Hospitality sector's quick recovery with resilient solutions. Entity should offer methods, processes, governance structures, social impact initiatives, new technological applications, existing technologies, amongst others are applicable.

Participants should meet the following criteria:

  • Being innovative in nature and provide value-added solutions
  • To have potential to be applied in many countries
  • To be sustainability-driven


Luxury travels, goods:

Solutions focused on luxury travels, goods & services and high-standards


Solutions focused on improving the service and operations in restaurants, catering, delivery services and retail

Hotels and hotel related operations:

Solutions focused on small to medium sized properties and family businesses including health and sanitary solutions, security protocols, operations efficiency, among others

Smart Real Estate:

Solutions focused on enhancing technology in real estate / small to medium sized properties and family businesses linked to Hospitality industry

The selection criteria that will be used shall be the following:

  • Innovation: The application of improved solutions that meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs. Such innovation takes place through the provision of more-effective products, processes, services, technologies, or business models that are made available to markets, governments and society.
  • Sustainability: An attribute that should be implemented in the services, business model, or solutions, to avoid or minimize the environmental, economic and social impact produced by the business activity. Solutions that help travel and consume to more respectful of the resources while not compromising the experience.
  • Digitalization: Solutions incorporating digital technologies in their application.

Selection Process

Solutions from all over the world Screening Applications

4 categories for Hospitality Challenge Experts Committee Assessment

30 scholarships to talented people & projects

The most viable and disruptive solutions will be awarded as follows:

Connection with the UNWTO Network: Access to more than 5000 tourism-related startups, 930 corporations, 300 public institutions, 50 education institutions, 30 incubators and 200 investors.

Finalists will be eligible to receive a full scholarship (tuition fees, full accommodation and catering on campus offered in one of the 15 programmes below, 2 winners per programme)

Seed money for the 3 top most innovative projects

The projects will be funded by Eurazeo, from which Sommet Education is a portfolio Company. This means for the 3 winners even more chances of success for their projects and for Hospitality more guarantee to have scalable project around new services and products making an impact on the industry.


Launch: June 2020
Deadline for application: CLOSED
Release of top solutions: October 2020

Glion Institute of Higher Education:

  • Master’s (MSc) in International Hospitality Business
  • Master’s (MSc) in Luxury Management and Guest Experience
  • Master’s (MSc) in Hospitality, Entrepreneurship and Innovation
  • Master’s (MSc) in Real Estate, Finance and Hotel Development

Les Roches Crans-Montana:

  • MBA in Global Hospitality Management
  • Postgraduate Diploma in International Hospitality Management
  • Master’s in Hospitality strategy and Digital Transformation

Les Roches Marbella:

  • Master’s in Marketing and Management for Luxury Tourism
  • Master’s in International Hotel Management

Ecole Ducasse (Paris Meudon and ENSP):

  • Bachelor in Culinary Arts
  • Bachelor in Pastry Arts
  • Culinary Arts Diploma
  • Pastry Arts Diploma
  • Culinary Arts Essentials
  • French Pastry Arts Essentials

Terms & Conditions

Full competition terms and conditions can be found here