Western Silk Road University Challenge

Western Silk Road University Challenge 

The UNWTO Silk Road Programme, in cooperation with ISTHIA – Toulouse School of Tourism, Hospitality Management and Food Studies, University of Toulouse – Jean Jaurès, conducted Western Silk Road University Challenge, a research workshop that took place in Toulouse, France during the academic year 2017 - 2018. 

The Western Silk Road University Challenge is the first collaboration between UNWTO and ISTHIA, one of the leading French institutions in the field of tourism, hospitality and gastronomy education and the member of the Western Silk Road Tourism Academic Network.

The university challenge was carried out as a spin-off project of the joint EU - UNWTO Western Silk Road Tourism Development Initiative and focuses on Silk Road tourism potential in France and creation of the Silk Road label system and brand. 

On 16 October 2017 Ms Elena Dubinina, UNWTO Silk Road Programme, presented the objectives and activities of the UNWTO Silk Road Programme and  officially launched the University Challenge. The PowerPoint Presentation can be accessed here

During the academic year 2017-2018, the bachelor students, guided by ISTHIA professors, analysed historic involvement of the French territories within the Silk Road network, assessed the Silk Road impact on French culture, and prepared an inventory of Western Silk Road heritage in France.

At the same time the students of the Master's degree identified strengths and weaknesses of the potential label system of the Western Silk Road. The students developed categories and certification criteria of the Western Silk Road stakeholders; they also applied their creativity in design and visual identity of the future label.     

The final presentation of the outcomes of the Western Silk Road Challenge took place on 27-28 March 2018 in Toulouse. The research resulted in a study containing proposals for the Western Silk Road labelling and certification, development of potential thematic French and cross-border routes and tourism products, including strategies aimed at their branding and sustainable management.  

This project is an excellent way of bringing UNWTO, its Member States, academia and students together to share ideas and devise practical strategies on how to develop new tourism products along the Silk Road and involve new countries to the Programme.


Flick Photo Gallery 

10/2017 - 04/2018