Institute News

Team from IFTM achieves podium finish in global UNWTO student competition

The members of Team ELSHA

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

A team from IFTM placed third in the 2021 Global UNWTO Students’ League: Rural and Tourism Development Challenge, in the ‘undergraduates’ category. The competition concluded in September, wrapping up 6 months of intense work by the Institute students involved.

The contest required participants to draft solutions to promote tourism development for rural areas.

IFTM’s entry, ‘Team ELSHA’, was made up of Year 4 undergraduates Wang Lan and Yuan Ziqi (from the Cultural and Heritage Management programme), in partnership with Zheng Yiting and Ren Yi (Tourism Business Management programme). Chen Shilin, pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel Management, completed the squad.

IFTM Invited Visiting Assistant Professor Dr. Sharif Shams Imon – who is also the Coordinator for the Cultural and Heritage Management programme – supervised the team’s participation in the competition. The Institute’s Pedagogic Affairs Department provided support to the group.

As part of their submission for the challenge, Team ELSHA put forward a model for the sustainable development and marketing of rural cultural tourism, with the goal of addressing the problems of contemporary rural tourism in China.

Following the announcement of the overall results for the 2021 Global UNWTO Students’ League, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili highlighted the importance of the competition. “The tourism of tomorrow must be inclusive, sustainable and embrace local values,” he said. “The UNWTO Students’ League is a unique chance for students from around the world to help lead this change,” he added.

In the final stage of the 2021 competition, the IFTM team faced contenders from Argentina, Morocco, and the Netherlands. Each team had to present their proposals to a jury for detailed review.

More than 70 teams from all around the world enrolled for the undergraduates category of the 2021 Global UNWTO Students’ League: Rural and Tourism Development Challenge, according to the organisers. One of the aims of the initiative was to help students to deepen their understanding of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and the role tourism can play in the betterment of the livelihoods of rural communities.

The UNWTO Students’ League, under the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), aims to empower and motivate travel and tourism students to get involved with the industry. According to the organisers, participants can get real-time experience from the sector by creating and presenting solutions for the challenges that the tourism and hospitality sector is facing.

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