What’s the biggest challenge hospitality faces right now? Recovery from the pandemic? Digitalization? How about sustainability? Spanish engineering company, Valiryo Technologies, is tackling the latter through its water-saving and energy-saving Body Dryer product, and they partnered with Spark Innovation Sphere by Les Roches to develop it for the hospitality industry.
At the Spark Innovation Sphere, students and businesses work together to solve our industry’s problems through innovation. With hubs on both the Crans-Montana and Marbella campuses, real-world Spark projects are part of the curriculum for students on both Bachelor’s and postgraduate programs.
“Partnering with the school enables us to reach more people from different countries and cultures.”
For Valiryo the goal in hospitality is simple, to help hotels cut carbon through their in-shower technology. Every hotel guest that can dry themselves with a Body Dryer instead of a towel will save 78 litres of water and prevent half a kilogram of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. With over four million hotel rooms available every day around the world, that’s a lot of water and energy saved. And it’s a lot of costs saved, too.
In addition to the environmental and financial benefits, the Body Dryer also presents an opportunity to add value to the guest experience. As well as being innovative tech that’s a joy to use, the Body Dryer is a premium solution to drying off, either after a shower or following an in-room virtual workout. This is crucial for hotels, and for Valiryo’s ambitions, as it’s an investment in sustainable technology that doesn’t compromise customer comfort.
For Ion Esandi, CEO at Valiryo, the collaboration with Spark and Les Roches is about accessing insight from expert faculty and future leaders of hospitality. “We’re innovators and we have a unique product that will be part of the future of responsible hospitality”, he says, “Les Roches students represent the best example of how to do hospitality in both the present and the future, and partnering with the school enables us to reach more people from different countries and cultures.”
Hands-on with the latest innovations
Looking at pictures of innovative products in a classroom is exciting, but actually using them, testing them and building a financial case for them is a game changing educational experience. That’s what the Spark Valiryo project made possible for Les Roches students, as Susana Garrido Valiente, Director of Spark in Marbella, explains.
“We installed a Body Dryer in the experience room, which is the hotel room of the future that we have created on-campus in Marbella”, she says. “As part of the project the students were challenged to think like both a General Manager and a customer, to make the case for reducing towel use, consider sustainability from the point of view of the guest, and feed back on every detail, such as is it noisy and what other options do we have as a business? All that insight is then passed back to the partner to support product and marketing development.”
“…we discussed how can we install the Body Dryer to support sustainability, while also ensuring it makes sense through hotel budgeting.”
For BBA student Airi Kitagawa, working alongside Valiryo as part of her studies was a unique experience that has developed key professional skills. “As a project team working with Valiryo, we discussed how can we install the Body Dryer to support sustainability, while also ensuring it makes sense through hotel budgeting. I gained thinking and presentation skills and learned that hospitality and different industries can mix to make innovations.”
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