The GTTP annual student and teacher awards, which we hosted at the Amadeus Executive Briefing Centre in Sophia Antipolis, brought together gifted students from around the world to showcase their bright ideas to shape a sustainable future of travel.
Twenty-two high school students from 11 countries, including Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Russia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, shared their findings on applying technology in a sustainable way to enhance the visitor experience in their countries.
The winning projects were diverse, ranging from a case study from Olympia Brazil based on devising a simple clean renewable energy system to support local sustainable tourism development, to Kitale Kenya which focused on how the MPesa mobile payment system is revolutionising the entire tourism industry by providing a secure and cashless system, and is helping to boost the economy.
The winning Chinese project, which focused on smart technology being used in new sustainable hotels in Qingdao, underscored the ingenuity that is currently revolutionising this sector. Another impressive entry was from Sarvar in Hungary, where the winners illustrated in real time the simplicity and power of using QR code generator technology to simplify entrance processes with clear sustainable advantages for the travel industry.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the event was the poise and confidence with which these teenagers presented their projects, despite the fact that for most of them English is not their first language and many have never travelled abroad before nor presented to a large audience. For the students and teachers, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be selected to represent their country and travel to Nice to take part in this prestigious event.
Feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive. A student from Hong Kong commented that “it has been a precious learning and development opportunity,” while a Jamaican teacher said “Thank you for educating students about making better life changing choices” and their student remarked that “dreams do really come true.”
A Kenyan teacher and student said: “Thank you for everything. It is inspiring and impacts greatly my future as a tourism teacher” and “I will use this as an opportunity to achieve greater things.” Finally, a school principal said “I really want to assure you that you have made a huge difference to the lives of all of us.”
To wrap up the event – there was a gala dinner at the Le Meridien and everyone had a fabulous time, especially the students, who performed with great gusto when asked to spontaneously deliver a national song or dance, showing that they were even more talented than already proven!
Amadeus has been an inaugural partner of the GTTP since 1999, and other international industry leaders supporting the GTTP include American Express, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, Delta Air Lines, Enterprise Holdings, The Hertz Corporation, Hogg Robinson Group, KDS, Lufthansa, Starwood Hotel & Resorts, and Travelport, all of whom have executives serving on the GTTP’s Advisory Board.
There is potential for many of these students to rise to the top of our industry and become future leaders and who knows, perhaps one day some of them may even sit on the board of GTTP.
Head over to the GTTP website for more on this charitable foundation and have a look at their Facebook page for great pictures from the event.
This article was originally published on the Amadeus corporate blog.