Dusit Thani college students pioneer sustainable hospitality, represent Thailand at Dubai finals

Sustainability has become a key focus point for the hospitality industry in recent years. For hospitality businesses reducing waste, adopting responsible tourism practices and conserving energy and water are no longer nice to have but need to have KPIs. Supporting these initiatives is an entire industry of sustainability companies who produce technologies to reduce operational costs and most importantly make a positive impact on the environment.

But innovation not only comes from the corporate world, it can also be harnessed from the minds of our future hospitality talents, the students who study at the world’s best hospitality schools. The Sustainable Hospitality Challenge, founded by one of the leading hospitality schools in the Netherlands, Hotel School The Hague, is a global competition that brings together the best hospitality schools and their students, to conceive and present their sustainable hospitality value-added solutions.

Recently, the competition organisers chose Bangkok, Dusit Thani College and Dusit International’s ASAI Chinatown as the destination and hosts of the Asian and African semi-finals of the Sustainable Hospitality Challenge 2024. The event gathered more than 70 hospitality students, hailing from some of the best hospitality schools in Asia and Africa, to compete and prove their product would make the biggest impact on sustainability. 13 captivating ideas were presented by 13 teams which could be put into real practice and each pitch, product, and business plan was carefully judged by a panel of industry experts. However, only two teams advanced further to the final round.

Dusit Thani
PHOTO: Dusit Thani college

One of the finalists was the team from Dusit Thani College, Thailand’s first and largest higher education institute dedicated to hospitality education and training, which won with their groundbreaking idea of an organic water purifying system. The winning product “Thara” was conceived and designed by 3 Dusit Thani College’s Professional Culinary Arts (international program) students: Supakorn Zhang, Shaun Ajay Mathew, and Jirada Kluaymaingarm. The idea comes from the concept of using plants to absorb residues from grey water to be able to reuse it for other non-consuming purposes. The prototype of this system illustrated how the water ran past the vertical green wall to the sterilising box before going to the tap, reducing energy consumption and the waste of used water. The students also ran a laboratory test for the quality of sterilised water, showing its effectiveness of 75%.

“The support and guidance we received from instructors and lovely people around us were immense and a key reason why we made it to the finals. The time we spent working on this project was exhausting but worthwhile. We are deeply thankful for the challenges we faced because this competition opens the door to endless opportunities for us. Whatever the results in the final round will be, we are proud to have come this far. Gaining this rare experience is already our precious reward for our devotion.” Commented the students from the Dusit Thani College winning team.

The final round of the Sustainable Hospitality Challenge will be held from the 30th of September to the 2nd of October 2024 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, as a part of the Future Hospitality Summit. The team from Dusit Thani College will be the only school representing Thailand in the global competition.

Dusit Thani College is committed to developing sustainable practices and through Dusit International’s new “Tree of Life” initiative, a group-wide sustainability program, both the College and the hospitality group are taking steps to ensure the future sustainability of the hospitality industry in Thailand and across the world. Sustainability concepts are incorporated in all Thai and international programs and the college’s International Programs in Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts offer a major concentration in Innovation for a Sustainable Future where students explore how the hospitality industry innovates and adapts to ensure the adoption of sustainable practices.

(For more information about Dusit Thani College’s specialised Thai and international programs in hospitality management and sustainability concentrations, click https://dtc.ac.th/en/bachelors-degree/)

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