3 Nov, 2017
This university leads in world’s first essay competition on Tourism and SDGs
Fifty-four multinational students from the University of Monterrey, Mexico, have taken the lead in sending their submissions to the world’s first essay competition on how Travel & Tourism can contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Launched on Sept 21, 2017, the UN International Day of Peace, The Olive Tree Awards essay competition invites young people under 30 all over the world to submit essays of up to 1,200 words and win prize money totaling US$4,000.
Thanks to their savvy Profesor Dr. Blanca Alejandra Camargo Ortega, the University of Monterrey students ranging in age from 19 to 25 have submitted essays bursting with great ideas and creative solutions but also voicing deep frustration about the messy state of the world being bequeathed to them by the current generation.
Writes one student: “Today’s tourism must change, not because it is wrong or harmful, but because it needs to be less demanding and more helpful.”
Writes another: “Even though we are neighbors to one of the most developed countries in the world, we have huge universities, and where we even have one of the richest men in the world, we still find ourselves with many marginalized regions in poverty, with hunger, with deficiency of basic services such as water, electricity, gas, without any medical services, bad education, poorly paid jobs, and even with a maleness based culture.”
A quick reading of the essays yields some immediate observations.
Students who have travelled the world are much more savvy about the challenges ahead. They are also worried about wider issues such as corruption, over-usage of natural resources, racism, the poor state of national and global leadership, and more.
These concerns are in sharp contrast to the monotonous range of “building-the-business” topics discussed at travel industry conferences, a clear indication of the deep disconnect between what millennials really want and what the mainstream travel & tourism industry thinks they want.
Clearly, the focus on “millennials” as being merely mobile phone-toting customers and start-up entrepreneurs is way off the mark. Once the prize-winning essays are published, the biggest contribution of this landmark competition will be to disrupt and overhaul the content matter of industry conferences to make them more relevant to the concerns of the future generations.
I compliment the academic faculty and students of the University of Monterrey for taking the lead in this project, and encourage other university professors, especially in Asia, to motivate their own students to follow suit.
The prize money of US$4,000 is being generously donated by Mr. Sonu Shivdasani, CEO and Commercial and Creative Lead, Soneva Resorts, winner of multiple Awards for Sustainability and Lifestyle Travel, and one other prominent benefactor from the Islamic world who preferred to remain anonymous.
“The Olive Tree” publication itself is sponsored by Jetwing Hotels of Sri Lanka, the Macao Government Tourist Office, Asian Overland Services (and its subsidiary unit Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa).
Pls click here for details on how to submit an essay: https://www.travel-impact-newswire.com/2017/09/us4000-prize-money-for-first-global-essay-competition-linking-travel-tourism-to-un-sustainable-development-goals/.
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21 Sep, 2017
US$4,000 prize money for first global essay competition linking Travel & Tourism to UN Sustainable Development Goals
Bangkok – Today, Sept 21 2017, Travel Impact Newswire marks the United Nations International Day of Peace by launching an essay competition on how Travel & Tourism can contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Olive Tree Awards essay competition is claimed to be the first of its kind in the global Travel & Tourism industry.
Young people under 30 all over the world are invited to submit essays of up to 1,200 words on how Travel & Tourism can advance the cause of the UN SDGs and meet the targets by 2030.
The competition will be held every six months, or two rounds a year. Each round will see the winners being awarded one first prize of US$1,000 and two runners up of US$500.
The total annual prize money of US$4,000 is being generously donated by two individuals: Mr. Sonu Shivdasani, CEO and Commercial and Creative Lead, Soneva Resorts, winner of multiple Awards for Sustainability and Lifestyle Travel, and one other prominent benefactor from the Islamic world.
The winners of each round will be announced on 20 March marking the International Day of Happiness, and on 21 Sept, marking the International Day of Peace.
Writers must be aged under 30 at the date of submission (ID proof of age will be required). It is not necessary for writers to be employees or students of the Travel & Tourism industry. Anyone can submit an essay, but there must be a Travel & Tourism angle.
Essays must be written in English, upto a maximum length of 1,200 words.
Tips and Guidance for Writers
1) Study the SDGs carefully (click here);
2) Think deeply about any aspect of Travel & Tourism which is relevant to the SDGs;
3) Download the The Olive Tree publications to access thought-prompting ideas (click here);
4) Pen an essay presenting a good idea, venting a powerful frustration, or sharing a passion, experience or event.
Don’t feel held back. Let your creativity, and your conscience, be your guide.
What can young people do to advance the SDG cause?
How private companies and government agencies can mainstream the SDGs into their projects, plans, events and activities.
Controversial themes which challenge conventional wisdoms and go against the grain are particularly welcome (click here for ideas in this genre).
Look beyond environmental issues. Essays on good governance, anti-corruption, transparency, accountability, human rights, universal values, etc., are all welcome.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Although all essays must be in English, they will be judged on the quality of the ideas, NOT the quality of the English.
The deadline for the first round of submissions is December 31, 2017. Winners will be notified by March 15, 2018. The winning essays will also be published on the Travel Impact Newswire website.
Send all essays along with proof of age and a short personal biodata to Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor, Travel Impact Newswire at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The seven judges have been carefully balanced to include three Millennials and four women:
Ms Wong Peng Jun, aged 30, Sales and Marketing Manager, Frangipani Resort Langkawi, Malaysia.
Mr. Dmitri Cooray, aged 25, Manager Operations, Jetwing Hotels, Sri Lanka.
Mrs Sana Muqbil Shamsi, aged 31, Franchise Owner, Escape Hunt, Hyderabad, India.
Mr. Sonu Shivdasani, CEO and Commercial and Creative Lead, Soneva Resorts.
Mr. Mario Hardy, CEO, Pacific Asia Travel Association.
Ms Marjorie Pamintuan, General Secretary, Asia Pacific Research Network, Quezon City, the Philippines.
Ms Punam Mohandas, journalist and lecturer at Assumption University, Bangkok, Thailand.
For inquiries and further info, pls email: email@example.com