Funded Project # 1

The Future of Swiss Business Hotels in Urban Context

Covid-19 pandemic has hit very hard the world economy. In Switzerland, SECO estimates that GDP will decline by 7% in 2020 and the rate of unemployment will rise to 4% (from 2.3% in 2019). Data available in October 2020 shows that international arrival in Switzerland were down by 60.3% and urban tourism witnessed a drop-in sale of up to 60. The international aviation network remains largely grounded, while there is minimal (if any) activity in the Meetings, Incentive, Conference and Events sector (MICE). The impact of the pandemic on urban hotels has been reinforced by the fact that the entire events industry has been on hold since March 2020. The survival of tourism businesses that were viable before the pandemic is now threatened, with the many small-scale businesses in the sector that are particularly vulnerable. Therefore, Business Hotels in Urban Context should reinvent themselves in the medium and long period generating respectively, a thorough understanding of possible new source of revenues and strategic moves in the future. This project has been designed to tackle this issue by accelerating the innovation process on medium and long term, propelling the business of urban business hotel towards new business models for an ever-changing environment.

Partners: Association romande des hôteliers (ARH), Geneva Tourism Board, HES-SO Valais, EHL


Status: Ongoing

Funded Project #2

Local Community Empowerment Through Smart Host-Guest Relationship

Through participatory action research, collaborative design and fast prototyping this project aims at empowering local Lebanese rural communities endorsed by natural and heritage beauty through a smart host-guest relationship technology. Partners will closely work together to find the most appropriate technological solution for rural communities both in terms of interaction and design towards the generation of socio-economic impact. The appropriate technology solution will then be tested both with the communities and with visitors to ensure there is a proper fit between technology and multi-users needs. EHL and AUB will work with the local green startup Daskara project (, which already geo-indexed more than 3500 natural and heritage objects in rural Lebanon, to foster rural tourism business and visitation thus impacting on community dwellers entrepreneurial activities. The project will contribute to SDGs 1, 2, 5, 8 and 11 in different form and will help project Daskara to fine tune their business model towards the creation of an independent company.
Partners: American University of Beirut, Dasakra, EHL


Status: Ongoing