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UN Tourism and Hotelschool The Hague collaborate to drive innovation in the hospitality industry



Madrid/The Hague, April 2024. Education and innovation are integral to reshaping the tourism sector. This belief forms the cornerstone of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by UN Tourism and Hotelschool The Hague, marking a collaborative effort to foster the development and execution of pioneering projects in the hospitality industry.  

The alliance aims to stimulate innovation and fresh ventures within the hospitality industry, promoting entrepreneurship and education while engaging in open innovation projects that can enhance the tourism industry, with a particular focus on hospitality. Currently, 20% of entrepreneurs of the UN Tourism Network are directly related to hospitality and are the most dynamic projects including a variety of stakeholders of the industry.  

This partnership not only underlines a commitment to a more sustainable future for the industry but also signifies a shared commitment to providing inclusive opportunities and memorable global student experiences, demonstrated through Hotelschool The Hague’s global Sustainable Hospitality Challenge.  


The United Nations Agency and the educational institution will collaborate to nurture an entrepreneurial ecosystem while advocating for sustainable hotel management practices through innovation. Additionally, they will promote the adoption of both emerging and established technologies to support advancements in the hospitality industry.  

Building on the UN Tourism's established innovation network, this agreement will further facilitate connections between startups and potential investors, as well as promote knowledge and skills through joint events, communication channels, and media interactions. 


Hotelschool The Hague, founded and funded by the hospitality industry in 1929, provides high-quality education and cutting-edge research in the field of international hospitality management, with an emphasis on the transformation of sustainability and digitalization. Ultimately, developing students into sought-after hospitality graduates who excel in leadership roles worldwide. The university is a hub where industry partners can gain and share new insights, skills, and knowledge. It has a strong connection with the industry and a solid international reputation in hospitality management.  


Ms. Natalia Bayona, Executive Director of UN Tourism, expresses: "Unfortunately 90% of startups within the hospitality sector eventually do not succeed. A decent tourism education and knowledge of the hospitality sector is necessary to develop a disruptive and well-functioning product. Through our collaborative efforts, we aspire to alter this trajectory by offering a more robust foundation, fostering invaluable connections, and providing a conducive testbed for emerging startups. Given that technology now permeates 70% of tourism enterprises, it is imperative that these startups are seamlessly integrated into the ecosystem, connected with pertinent stakeholders, and afforded the opportunity to validate their solutions in real-world settings before embarking on a larger scale. 


Ms. Regine von Stieglitz, President of the Board of Directors of Hotelschool The Hague says: "At Hotelschool The Hague, we provide our students with the perfect balance of theory, real-world experience and applied research to prepare them for a career in the hospitality industry. We develop leaders who shape our global industry and drive it to give back more than it takes. We are proud to join forces with UN Tourism. We fully embrace their vision to Foster Innovation in the Hospitality Industry. In fact, our Sustainable Hospitality Challenge is a student competition designed to enhance the evolution of sustainable practices in hospitality, aligning seamlessly with the objectives of UN Tourism."  




About UN Tourism 

UN Tourism is the United Nations specialized agency fostering tourism as a vehicle for equal, inclusive, and sustainable development. Working with its 160 Member States, international organizations and the private sector, UN Tourism promotes safe and seamless travel for all. UN Tourism also works to make tourism the foundation of trust and international cooperation and a central pillar of growth and opportunity. As part of the wider UN system, UN Tourism is at the forefront of global efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including through its ability to create decent jobs, promote equality and preserve natural and cultural heritage. 

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