Young Talent Programme


We cannot talk about the future without including tomorrow’s generation. World Tourism Forum Lucerne has launched various initiatives to help foster the exchange of expertise between generations within the industry. The Young Talent Programme is the longest established of these.

The goal of the Young Talent Programme is to connect CEOs and talented young people, whilst emphasising the importance of a talent pipeline between universities and the industry. 

The Young Talent Programme invites the best students from our partner universities to the Forum where they will have an exceptional opportunity to attend a career planning session by Korn Ferry. They will meet internationally renowned CEOs and world-famous opinion leaders within the travel, tourism & hospitality industry to build up a unique network for their personal career path. 

Although I was not one of the winners, I gained more than I expected and the Young Talent Programme 2019 was truly priceless. It was a very great opportunity to meet people from the industry with smart ideas who come from different background and to be able to hear their experiences, stories and inspirations.
— Naruemon Suphap, Mahidol University International College (Thailand)


World Tourism Forum Lucerne selected the best tourism students from its partner universities in Africa, Asia, America, Australia and Europe to attend the Young Talent Programme at the Forum in May 2019 in Switzerland.

The academic committee of the World Tourism Forum Lucerne had the difficult task to select the most promising abstracts out of over 70 outstanding applications. 40 students of our partner universities had been eligible to send in a full paper for a double blinded peer-reviewed process which was due in November 2018. Out of these candidates, 20 students were asked to do a Learning Agility Test by our partner company Korn Ferry in order to select the 12 most talented students.

The 12 finalists were invited by World Tourism Forum Lucerne to visit the Forum from May 1–3 2019 in Lucerne and present a poster of their research. In a Career Planning Session organized by Korn Ferry, the Young Talents received some most valuable expert advice on how to advance their career and how to network and market themselves. During the Forum, the 3 winners of the Young Talent Award were evaluated and awarded in a ceremony.

I was impressed by the number of job places in the travel, tourism and hospitality and the growing need for young staff. I will encourage young people to work in our sector and I will do my best to achieve high professional level in order to improve tourism with new discoveries and ideas.
— Veronika Alieva, North-Caucasus Federal University (Russia)

Young Talent Winners 2019


1. Refiloe Julia Lekgau

University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Title of Research Paper:
Perceived Socio-economic Impacts of Wildlife Tourism


2. Alok Gulati

Institute of Hotel Management, Aurangabad, India

Title of Research Paper:
Culinary innovation management


3. Elizabeth Sara Dominguez Rodriguez

University of Queensland, Australia

Title of Research Paper:
The impact of online TV shows on destination image: The case of Mexico

Young talent programme 2019

Young Talent Programme Partner Universities

Every aspect of the Young Talent Programme will be beneficial to my career, starting from the career planning sessions with Korn Ferry and networking cocktails to the Forum itself and the workshops it included. I am looking forward to collaborate in the near future with the other Young Talents and industry experts.
— Sari Arab, Student at IMI University Centre, Switzerland

Young Talent Programme 2019 Partners

Past Events

  • Young Talent Programme 2017: 4 May 2017, St Charles Hall Lucerne, Switzerland