STR's SHARE Center crowned a graduate team from Texas Tech University and an undergraduate team from San Francisco State University as winners of the 2016 STR Student Market Study Competition at HX: The Hotel Experience conference earlier this month in New York City.
The competition featured 32 teams representing many of the leading hospitality and tourism schools from around the world, including five schools from outside the U.S. Each team selected a major metropolitan market to research and analyze in the months leading up to the conference. The teams were provided with guidance on market study presentations as well as a comprehensive set of reports and data from STR. The teams then presented their analysis at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
"We could not have been more pleased with the quality and professionalism of the student presentations," said Duane Vinson, STR VP and assistant director of the SHARE Center. "It was evident that all of the teams worked very hard to prepare, and our judges, who are senior executives from several New York hotel and tourism companies, were highly impressed."
In the graduate division, Texas Tech's winning team of Alhussain Alhamid, Daegeun (Dan) Kim, Joe Kleypas, John Palabiyik and Martha Rush presented on the Washington, D.C.-Maryland-Virginia hotel market. Team Texas Tech's presentation was advised by Jessica Yuan, associate professor in Texas Tech's Department of Hospitality and Retail Management.
"This project provided an enriching learning experience for the students," Yuan said. "They have learned to analyze real industry data at an advanced level, to conduct standard research analysis on a real market, and to develop analytical and presentation skills. The team put in many hours of preparation over the last several months, and I am very proud of their devotion and determination. Winning this competition has helped build our program's reputation, which will serve our students well in the future."
Students from DePaul University finished second, and a team from Kansas State University placed third in the graduate division.
In the undergraduate division, San Francisco State's winning team of Nikki Banks, Cheyenne Noell, Tracey Porras and Lauren Rojo presented on the Seattle, Washington, hotel market. Team San Francisco State's presenters were advised by Andrew Walls, associate professor & chair of San Francisco State's Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management.
"Our students found this hotel market study competition to be one of their most challenging and rewarding experiences," Walls said. "The competition allowed our students to not only learn about the hotel industry and key performance indicators, but also the necessary skills to analyze and present data to industry experts and peers from other prestigious HTM (Hospitality and Tourism Management) programs throughout the world. Our school's market study journey started with an internal competition of 15 teams, and the winning team was awarded a scholarship to compete in New York City. The students were thrilled to have this opportunity to learn about the industry, and winning the competition was a remarkable conclusion."
The University of Nevada, Las Vegas finished in second place, and West Virginia University placed third in the competition's undergraduate division.
Each team received a plaque from Amanda Hite, STR's president and CEO, while the winning teams in both the graduate and undergraduate categories received a US$1,000 cash prize.
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