Les Roches in Marbella, considered one of the three best hospitality management schools in the world, offered a glimpse into the future of aviation at Expo 2020 Dubai.
The Swiss institution participated in a round table titled ‘Leading the future of sustainable travel: The rebirth of airships’ on the next generation of airships, which hope to provide clean and efficient aviation to cope with dependence on fossil fuels.
Les Roches is focused on creating innovative and entrepreneurial minds of tomorrow. As of 2021, it also has an academic alliance with the Indian School of Hospitality (ISH) with a partner campus in Gurugram (Delhi NCR).
Carlos Díez de la Lastra, managing director of Les Roches, shared his insights with a panel of experts made up of leading figures in technological innovation being applied to travel and luxury tourism. The panel included Eckhard Breuer, CEO of ZLT (Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik); Alan Weston, CEO of LTA Research and Exploration; Gennadiy Verba, president of Atlas LTA Advance Technology; Dereck Joubert, CEO of Great Plains Conservation and National Geographic Explorer in Residence; Sébastien Bougon, founder and CEO of Flying Whales; Bruce Dickison, CEO of Cardiff Aviation (and leader of the Iron Maiden gang), and Robert Swan, founder of 2041 and activist for the protection of Antarctica and renewable energy.
"Our objective is to foster the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of our students; therefore, part of our mission is to support technological projects and give them a space to grow on our campus. We are excited and we are passionate about being part of the future of the industry by working on the ideas that will change and evolve the world of travel and luxury. OceanSky Cruises is just one example of what awaits us,” Carlos Díez de la Lastra said.
Les Roches was invited to the panel for its role as a globally leading school focused on educating managers for the hospitality sector.
The institute’s cross relationship with the luxury sector, which is also growing in sophistication, enables Les Roches’ network of professors, professionals and students to generate tourism-related projects that are different. One such milestone is the inclusion of the first commercial passenger airship carrier of the 21st century, OceanSky Cruises, into the SPARK Innovation Sphere by Les Roches.
OceanSky’s airship project is a combination of pioneering technology with a high level of customer hospitality experience, and this is the area where Les Roches has provided its breadth of experience and knowledge.
For Carlos Díez de la Lastra, OceanSky Cruises meets all the parameters required by luxury tourism. “They offer technological innovation that allows tourists to visit regions of the world that are difficult to reach otherwise, and they respect the 'must' of sustainability principles, as well as the exclusivity of luxury tourism,” he said.
SPARK brings together an important network of experts both locally and internationally. More than 35 partner companies already work together in the centre of Marbella on large-scale projects, including Airlander 10 (OceanSky Cruises), the new luxury airship that will fly to the North Pole in 2024.
The project will also be integrated into the academic programme through Spark, where students can get the opportunity to work on real business consulting and academic challenges facing real business cases provided by Spark partners.