Talent & Culture Accor’s 2024 TakeOff! Challenge: Future Hospitality Leaders Take Aim at Engaging a New Generation of Guests
3 min

Accor’s TakeOff! Student Challenge wrapped up this week as this year’s winners were announced. The 2024 edition, focused on ibis’ 50th anniversary, tasked students with developing Sustainability initiatives to engage a new generation of guests ౼ launching for the first time this year also a pilot competition for students in China.

Accor’s Launchpad for the Next Generation

With more than 330,000 team members across more than 110 countries, the Group is dedicated to nurturing the next generation of Talent and driving the future of our industry. The TakeOff! Student Challenge isn't just a Talent incubator for Accor, it's a launchpad for the next generation of innovative industry leaders, that has drawn from a diverse pool, made up of more than 6,000 students hailing from more than 40 countries around the world.

Reimagining Sustainability and Social Connection for a Hospitality Icon

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of ibis, the Group’s iconic economy brand, Accor asked students to "Imagine the future of Social Connection for the ibis Family by developing a Sustainability campaign aimed at engaging a new generation of guests”.

A pilot program, specifically designed for younger students with limited academic experience in China was introduced for the 2024 edition of the Challenge. Participants not only had the chance to suggest new ways of tackling operational challenges, but also gained first-hand industry exposure through hotel visits and meetings with Accor teams. This initiative inspired a new generation by showcasing the diversity of hospitality career paths and helped young Talent explore professional opportunities in the industry. The success of this pilot program lays the groundwork for significant international expansion in the future.

An Inspiring Vision of Sustainable Travel Takes the Gold

In this 13th edition of the TakeOff! Challenge, 61 teams stepped up to pitch their best and brightest ideas. To improve clarity and boost participants' confidence, the competition sponsors held a kickoff session to exchange with participants about the Challenge theme and goals. Shortlisted teams also received one-on-one coaching sessions with external experts as well as guidance from the Talent & Culture team throughout the process. 

After a competitive first round, entries were narrowed down to 15 semi-finalists, with the top five finalists competing on May 28th via online jury presentations. More Fides’ proposal for ‘ibisEDGE’, a loyalty program that rewards customers for eco- and socially-responsible actions (such as taking the train, dining at a local restaurant, etc.), aiming to motivate the younger generation to adopt this way of travelling, impressed the jury and they were chosen as this year’s TakeOff! Challenge winner. The two students from Thomas More University in Belgium also won a trip to Paris to meet Accor Executives and showcase their work. 

While there can only be one winning team, everyone who participated gained valuable connections through networking with peers and industry leaders, priority access to job opportunities within the Group, as well as the opportunity to explore an Accor experience.