Sustainable Hospitality Challenge 2023 Winners

September 27, 2023

Sustainable Hospitality Challenge 2023 Winners Announced at Future Hospitality Summit

[Abu Dhabi, 27 September 2023] – The Sustainable Hospitality Challenge (SHC) 2023, by Hotelschool The Hague, has announced the exceptional winners of this year's competition at the Future Hospitality Summit in Abu Dhabi. This edition of the event stood out for the remarkable synergy between Tech, Design and Engineering teams, all working collaboratively to revolutionize sustainability in the hospitality industry.

The Sustainable Hospitality Challenge, an annual competition sponsored by the NEOM Hotel Development division dedicated to fostering innovation and sustainability, attracted visionary teams from across the globe. The winners of SHC 2023 have not only showcased their ingenuity, they have also demonstrated a commitment to crafting the future of sustainable tourism and hospitality through cross-disciplinary collaboration.

In what has been a fiercely competitive event this year, Chris Newman, Executive Director of Hotel Development at NEOM, shared his thoughts on the Challenge:

“Congratulations to the winners of this year’s challenge who presented an innovative hospitality concept with an environment-centered design. We are proud to be part of this sustainability-driven initiative and committed to allowing the next generation of hospitality leaders challenge conventional thought and reimagine the future of our industry.”

The winning student team will also be hosted in northwest Saudi Arabia, where they will see first-hand the cognitive cities and year-round destinations currently shaping the NEOM region. This includes NEOM’s luxury island destination, Sindalah, set to welcome guests in 2024 and featuring three distinct hotel properties. NEOM's support also covers all travel expenses for the teams to attend the awards ceremony at the Future Hospitality Summit.

The winners of the Sustainable Hospitality Challenge 2023

In their debut appearance at the 2023 Sustainable Hospitality Challenge, the dynamic team from Politecnico di Milano—comprising of students Giulia Ettori, Rosanna Caldarella, Davide Grasso, and Elisa Schembri—has won. Notably, they were the sole fully design-focused team in the finals, making their victory all the more remarkable. Their groundbreaking concept, 'HÒSTRAKA,' a luxurious experience on private mobile suite which allows guests to actively participate in the collection of microplastics from the sea, stole the spotlight.

These remarkable students have not only earned well-deserved recognition for their groundbreaking ideas, they will also have the opportunity to present their project at the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit in Rwanda. WTTC's annual Global Summit is a prestigious global event that brings together leaders from the travel and tourism industry to discuss pressing issues and innovative solutions for a sustainable future.

Paul Griep & Stella van Toor (Directors of the Sustainable Hospitality Challenge), commented, "We're thrilled and proud by the success of the competition and look forward to seeing the winning teams present their solutions at the WTTC Summit on a global stage. Furthermore, we're looking forward to venturing into the next exciting phase of the challenge for 2024 whereby investable, innovative, and relevant products will be developed by the best Hotelschools in the world in collaboration with reputable Tech, Design and Engineering Universities."

In the 2024 edition, the competition will expand in several significant ways. SHC 2024 will feature an even larger Tech, Design and Engineering cohort, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation. Moreover, participants will be challenged to develop solutions that are not only sustainable but also investable and ready for the market, reflecting a commitment to driving real-world impact in the industry.

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