Sustainable Hospitality Challenge

The Sustainable Hospitality Challenge (SHC) is a Hotelschool The Hague initiative launched in 2014. Originally founded under the name Genio Worldwide Innovation Summit, the challenge has recently re-established itself by making sustainability its central theme.

This global student competition annually brings together hospitality leaders and the next generation of hoteliers who apply innovation in addressing the industry’s evolution. With over 40 participating universities from around the globe and over 20 nationalities represented, the SHC offers them the chance to re-imagine the future of hospitality.

Participants from top-tier universities work towards bettering the planet and the hospitality industry by establishing innovative and sustainable solutions. The students are given the incredible opportunity to present on a global stage in front of significant industry leaders such as NEOM, The Bench, and the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, who can turn their ideas into real projects.

Established as a platform that challenges innovative hospitality approaches for the last eight years, SHC has evolved into a global knowledge-based initiative supported by the world’s best-known hospitality brands, global hospitality project developers, and smart cities.

SHC mission

This student challenge aims to empower the next generation of hospitality professionals to push the boundaries of innovation and create value-added solutions. The SHC mission is threefold;


best-in-class global universities & create a community of like-minded talented students

Drive innovation

for preserving the sustainability of our industry & world

Bring together

the student community, corporate world, accelerators, and investors and allow their innovations and solutions come to life

Theme 2023

For this year's case, the theme is 'ONE WITH NATURE’, which focuses on the urgent need to preserve and regenerate ecosystems. Primarily inspired by NEOM, the challenge's main sponsor, the theme will explore the respectful relationship with nature while touching upon the topic of regenerative tourism.

This year’s edition will include for the first time leading international architecture, technology and design universities that will be joining the participating top-tier hospitality institutions in order to form multidisciplinary student teams.

Over 40+ universities from around the globe, including returning champions Cornell University, Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), Toronto Metropolitan University, Hotel Institute Montreux, CY Cergy Paris Université, and Hotelschool The Hague will be competing in this year’s challenge. Organised by Hotelschool The Hague, The Sustainable Hospitality Challenge together with its partners The Bench, The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, and NEOM, is committed to building a more sustainable future.


SHC 2023 finalists