The UNWTO World Tourism Students’ League is a global competition for tourism students at Bachelors’ level organized by the UNWTO. In the beginning of 2020, a team of 5 volunteer BSc in Tourism students of University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons (UAS) participated in this competition. The competition, consisting of 4 challenges, extends over 5 months and aims to empower and motivate young people to gain insights into the industry whilst, at the same time, working on hands-on challenges addressing those sustainable development goals (SDGs) that relate to tourism. The challenge’s aim is to develop innovative solutions to real-life problems the tourism industry is facing today. (In case you are not familiar, find out more about the SDGs here.)
The development of proposed solutions followed the service design methodology and subsequently led to an in-depth examination of each topic. During the competition, students showed very high levels of intrinsic motivation which allowed them to actively engage not only with SDG-related issues, but also with the service design methodology. A particularly valuable result was achieved on a meta-level: The UNWTO Student League not only motivated students to do well in the competition, but also to better understand and apply Service Design and its methodology.
Adapted to the circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic, 2 of the 4 challenges were processed online with MIRO. Solutions were developed in one-day service design sprints and subsequently illustrated with detailed digital mock-ups of the developed solutions before submission to the jury. In the previous 3 challenges, students from the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons competed head-to-head with students from Indonesia to rank first. The last decisive evaluation by the jury is still open and is expected at the end of July.