Madrid, Spain / Lausanne, Switzerland - May 5th, 2021 - The World Tourism Organization, in keeping with its firm commitment to democratizing online education; IE University, with more than 20 years’ experience in online training, and Sommet Education, global leader in higher education in hotel management and culinary arts are partnering to accelerate on-line education in the Hospitality sector. The worldwide group thus becomes Academic Partner of the Tourism Online Academy, incorporating courses on various expertise of tourism management and hospitality. The first course available from Sommet Education will be "Excellence in Spa Operations", and new courses focused on hotel management will be included in the following months.
The Tourism Online Academy, a virtual platform launched by the UNWTO and IE University in 2019, has already attracted around 10.000 registered users. Throughout 2021, more prestigious universities from around the world are set to join this platform.
In the words of the Secretary-General of the UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili, “the support of private academic institutions is essential to guarantee the development of accessible and quality education for all”.
Sommet Education is also part of the UNWTO’s Online Education Committee, made up of 19 members from both the public and private sectors, which was created in the framework of the 112th session of the Executive Council held in Georgia in September 2020. Co-chaired by Member States Portugal and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the committee’s main objective is to provide the Secretary-General and the Executive Council with advice and recommendations on education, which has been established as one of the fundamental priorities of the Organization.
Sommet Education thus reaffirms its support to the UNWTO after the successful joint launch of the Hospitality Challenge in June 2020. More than 600 applications were received from all regions of the world. Sommet Education provided 30 scholarships covering the expenses of different higher education programs in its world-renowned institutions, aiming at supporting and promoting the projects and capabilities of the selected professionals, start-ups, and entrepreneurs. Among the winners, the three most innovative business projects will additionally receive seed funding to support their initial development. These projects will be funded by Eurazeo, a leading global investment group whose portfolio of companies includes Sommet Education, thus offering the winning projects even greater chances of success. “Innovation, entrepreneurship and education are the fundamental pillars on which to build the recovery of the tourism industry. Sommet Education has proven to be an essential partner for our Organization” said Natalia Bayona, Director of Innovation, Education and Investments at UNWTO.
“We welcome Sommet Education as part of the “Tourism Online Academy”. Together with Sommet Education who is joining this initiative, we will fulfil the mission of the platform which is to provide high quality online education to develop talent and strengthen the tourism industry's contribution to sustainability” highlighted Juan José Güemes, Chairman of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center at IE University.
“Lifelong learning and constant building of one’s skillset is now an imperative and will definitely contribute to the rebound of the Hospitality industry. I am happy and proud that Sommet Education and its partners will enable more people to access to relevant content so they can further develop their competencies” said Benoît-Etienne Domenget, Sommet Education CEO.
About the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
About Sommet Education
Marcelo Risi | Director of Communication of the World Tourism Organization
Anouck Weiss | Sommet Education VP Communication
Rosa Aranda | Associate Director of Communication IE University