Hospitality leadership is about much more than having a fantastic customer experience. First, you have to make sure your hotel will last where you open it.
To do that, you have to look at the market. Is there data on how well hotels in the area are doing? Is there enough interest in the area to generate revenue? What is your target demographic?
The importance of the market
Three Missouri State University hospitality leadership students know the importance of market studies, and they put their expertise to use.
HX: The Hotel Experience, the largest trade show in North America, holds the Smith and Travel Research (STR) Market Study Competition.
STR, a global competition, invites universities to analyze market data and create a video presentation to explain the market of a city that each university is given.
Hannah Chu, Brice Bube and Wade Hagebusch started this process in September, compiling and analyzing data on Las Vegas, Nevada, with the assistance of Dr. Albert Barreda, assistant professor of hospitality leadership.
“Dr. Barreda was such a huge help throughout the process, not only with his knowledge of the industry and revenue management, but also in encouraging us to do our best,” Chu said.
Heading to finals
After turning in their initial 30-minute video, they were informed in late October that they were a finalist team and were able to present their findings in New York Nov. 12.
All three are members of Eta Sigma Delta International Hospitality Honor Society. Chu is president of the MSU chapter, and Bube is the vice president. They planned to attend HX, but not in this capacity. With two weeks to go, they excitedly made arrangements for Hagebusch to go with them.
To prepare, they adjusted their presentation, and they practiced. One memorable practice was in front of industry leaders in Springfield.
“The best aspect was to participate in this prestigious event as finalists and have the opportunity to show the quality of preparation our students receive in the department of hospitality leadership,” Barreda said.
This year the Hotel Market Study Competition featured 31 undergraduate teams and 12 graduate competing teams representing the leading hospitality schools throughout the U.S. and Asia. Of all the competing teams, MSU’s team was in the top 10.
“The most rewarding part of the trip for me — after placing as a finalist for the competition — was being able to see other members who were first time visitors get so excited about being in the city,” Chu said. “It made all the stress of planning the trip worth it.”