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  • Steve Halor

Hotelschool Hague launches 2023 Sustainable Hospitality Challenge

In a world where hospitality and education intersect, one institution stands out: the Hotel School. With its unw In an exciting development, The Hague has recently unveiled its plans for the highly anticipated 2023 Sustainable Hospitality Challenge (SHC). In a groundbreaking development, this year's edition of the event will witness the inclusion of renowned international architecture, technology, and design universities. These esteemed institutions will collaborate with top-tier hospitality schools, giving rise to dynamic multidisciplinary student teams. This unprecedented partnership promises to bring together diverse expertise and foster innovative approaches in the field.

The Sustainable Hospitality Challenge (SHC) is an ambitious endeavor spearheaded by Hotelschool The Hague. Its primary objective is to propel the advancement of sustainable hospitality while simultaneously cultivating innovation among the leaders of tomorrow. By forging connections between aspiring talent from around the world and industry organizations seeking to revolutionize the future of hospitality, the SHC aims to foster a global community dedicated to reimagining the very essence of the industry. More than 40 universities from various countries are set to participate in this year's challenge, with notable returning champions such as Cornell University, Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), Ryerson University, Hotel Institute Montreux, CY Cergy Paris Université, and Hotelschool The Hague among the contenders.

In a recent statement, Paul Griep, the esteemed founder of the Sustainable Hospitality Challenge (SHC), expressed his enthusiasm for the organization's ongoing commitment to promoting innovation in the hospitality industry. Griep proudly announced that this year's challenge will feature the participation of esteemed international institutions from various academic disciplines, coming together to form dynamic and diverse student teams. This multidisciplinary approach is expected to bring fresh perspectives and groundbreaking ideas to the forefront of the competition. Among the esteemed institutions in the field of design and technology, one can find renowned names such as TU Delft, Hong Kong Polytechnic, Milano Politec, and several other prestigious universities from around the world.

In 2014, the Genio Worldwide Innovation Summit was established as a challenge. However, it has recently undergone a transformation, placing sustainability at its core. This shift comes in response to the pressing significance of the climate crisis within the hospitality industry. In a joint effort, Hotelschool The Hague, alongside esteemed partners The Bench, The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, and leading sponsor NEOM, is spearheading The Sustainable Hospitality Challenge. This groundbreaking initiative is dedicated to forging a path towards a more sustainable future.

In a recent statement, Chris Newman, the esteemed Executive Director for Hotel Development at NEOM, expressed his utmost delight in once again lending support to the Sustainable Hospitality Challenge. This initiative, driven by a noble mission to inspire and push the boundaries of the next generation of hoteliers, aims to foster the creation of groundbreaking and sustainable concepts. Newman's words reflect the organization's unwavering commitment to promoting innovation and sustainability within the hospitality industry. Anticipation builds as we eagerly await the unveiling of the ingenious projects and innovative solutions that will be generated by the students.

The central theme of last year's edition of the Sustainable Hospitality Challenge was remote." Cornell University's victorious team unveiled their groundbreaking concept, aptly named "Nimbus," which aims to revolutionize the hospitality industry by introducing an eco-resort in remote and untouched regions. Nimbus, the innovative company, aims to revolutionize local communities by harnessing the power of hot air balloons. With a focus on sustainable tourism, Nimbus not only promises economic growth but also a chance to preserve the environment.

The theme for this year's challenge has been announced as "ONE WITH NATURE," with a strong emphasis on the pressing need to protect and restore ecosystems. In a nod to NEOM's commitment to preserving nature, this year's challenge focuses on the concept of regenerative tourism.

NEOM, a sprawling region situated in the northwest of Saudi Arabia along the picturesque Red Sea, is currently undergoing a remarkable transformation. This ambitious project aims to construct an entirely new city, with a staggering 95% of its vast expanse dedicated to preserving and safeguarding the surrounding natural environment. NEOM, upon its completion, will boast a remarkable array of hyperconnected cognitive cities, alongside an impressive assortment of entertainment venues and tourist destinations. In a recent statement, Griep further elaborated, emphasizing the remarkable experience of visiting NEOM last year. Griep expressed awe at the region's unwavering commitment to preserving its natural surroundings. The commitment to regenerative tourism and the protection of nature is a prominent and consistent theme that permeates all of their endeavors. In a highly anticipated event, the qualification rounds for the upcoming competition are scheduled to take place in March 2023. Following these intense rounds, the stage will be set for the semi-finals, which are set to be held in the vibrant city of Amsterdam. Abu Dhabi is set to host the highly anticipated finals, in collaboration with esteemed organizations The Bench and The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, at the prestigious Future Hospitality Summit (FHS). The tickets and pertinent details regarding these events will be disseminated through various channels, including the professional networking platform LinkedIn, the popular photo-sharing platform Instagram, and the official website of the challenge, Abu Dhabi eagerly anticipates the return of the Sustainable Hospitality Challenge finals at the esteemed Future Hospitality Summit. With great enthusiasm, we prepare to extend a warm welcome to the deserving finalists in September. The past few years have witnessed a remarkable display of young talent that has left us in awe. Anticipation is high as we brace ourselves for yet another thrilling final round, with the added excitement of multidisciplinary teams making their debut this year. In a statement made by Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of The Bench, he expressed his enthusiasm for the potential impact of architecture, design, and technology on driving innovation within the hospitality sector. Worsley emphasized the importance of sustainable solutions and eagerly awaited the transformative contributions these fields can make to the industry.

The Sustainable Hospitality Challenge has consistently proven to be a standout feature of our summit. The convergence of these young, brilliant minds in pursuit of sustainable solutions for the hospitality industry is truly exhilarating. Glenn Mandziuk, the esteemed Chief Executive Officer of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.

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