Commercial strategy is vital for the global hospitality industry, as it focuses on a single goal through the optimization of revenue, marketing, and sales. It is crucial that all three disciplines work together towards the same goal of optimizing business performance. Hospitality businesses operate in a highly competitive environment, and effective commercial strategies are essential for profitability and sustainability.
The goal of the 2023 HSMAI Foundation Global Collegiate Case Competition is to establish a cross-institution platform for future hospitality leaders to showcase professional excellence in the domain, to empower hospitality education through experiential learning, and to enable industry-academia collaborations to champion future hospitality leaders.
The 2023-24 competition is case based. The entered teams will be able to work on real-world industry cases to solve practical challenges and come up with better commercial strategies at their chosen strategic level, whether at company, brand or property level.
The competition mission is to:
- Establish a cross-institution platform for future hospitality commercial leaders to showcase professional excellence;
- Empower hospitality commercial education through experiential learning;
- Enable industry-academia collaborations to champion future hospitality commercial leaders.
- Who can participate: Undergraduate and graduate students who share passion for hospitality marketing.
- How to participate:
- Competition entry: Interested teams are encouraged to fill out the competition entry form by February 29, 2024 so that the organizing committee can have an accurate understanding of the head counts. Any team interested in entering the competition beyond that date is welcomed and should fill out the entry form as well.
- Competition submission: Applicants are asked to submit a recorded group presentation by March 31, 2024 of a commercial strategy for their choice of a hotel company.
- Final competition presentation: The evaluation panel will assess the submitted work and identify top two teams for the undergraduate track and top two teams for the graduate track. These teams will be invited to the final competition event.
- Awards: $2,000 for the top undergraduate team, $2,000 for the top graduate team.
Separate Case Studies will be provided for Undergraduate and Graduate teams to use as the basis for their submission. Full copies of the Case Studies will be provided to teams upon registration.
- Undergraduate Case Synopsis:
New Brands on the Market
An international hotel chain has launched a new premium brand in a Latin American city. The brand is focused on converting new hotels, just over two years after the global launch of the brand. The hotel chain also has had an extended stay hotel in the same market for the past 18 months. The premium brand hotel’s ownership group are the leaders in the market in terms of presence and own many hotels of different brands, making distribution challenging due to the concentration of properties in one destination. The extended stay brand recently lost the only large group contract they had for long-term business. Both hotels in this case are operated by the same third-party management company, which has faced significant challenges in terms of executive turnover, including general managers and sales directors, in the last 18 months. The hotel chain is looking for recommendations on how the brands and hotels be repositioned; and what commercial actions/activities can be taken to support this positioning.
- Graduate Case Synopsis:
Introducing and Using STR metrics to Improve Hotel Performance
A global company made up of independent luxury hotels is seeking to improve transactions and hotel membership relations, increasing hotel retention and company revenues. They want to offer member hotels insight to their strategic and tactical decision making to optimize performance against their designated competitive set. Challenges include that not enough hotels are sharing their data; The Commercial team is not sufficiently engaged; and there is a perception that there aren’t enough important hotels in the STR project to warrant attention by others. The company is looking for recommendations on how they can convince an ownership or management hotel group that has their own revenue management team to share their STR data; and how they can get commercial teams to be more focused and prioritize STR results into actions.
Please submit the following information to qualify competition entry. We will send you a confirmation email upon receipt of your competition entry.
Please submit the following information to enter the competition. Maximum file upload size is 256 MB. We will send you a confirmation email upon receipt of your competition entry.
- What content should the proposed plan cover?
- Please see this pdf document for details.
- Is there an evaluation criteria?
- Yes, please see this pdf document for details.
- Is there a time length limit to the presentation?
- Yes, 15 minutes.
- How many students are allowed per group (min vs. max)?
- Minimum two, maximum six.
- How many groups are allowed per university/college?
- Up to three for undergraduate track, up to three for graduate track.
- Do we allow cross-institution team submissions?
- Yes, we welcome submissions from cross-institution teams (i.e., team members from different institutions).
- Faizan Ali, University of South Florida
- Ruiying Cai, Washington State University
- Lisa Cain, Florida International University
- Alei Fan , Purdue University
- Lisa Gao, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
- Zeya He, Shandong University
- Yuansi Hou, University of Macau
- Huiling Huang, University of Macau
- YooHee Hwang, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
- Nathan Line, Florida State University
- Lu Lu, Temple University
- Emily Ma, University of Surrey
- Anna S. Mattila, The Pennsylvania State University
- Courtney Suess-Raeisinafchi, Texas A&M University
- Han Shen, Fudan University
- Minjung Shin, University of Houston
- Kevin Kam Fung So, Oklahoma State University
- Yao-Chin Wang, University of Florida
- Wei Wei, University of Central Florida
- Laurie Wu, Temple University
- Bi Yang, Xiamen University
- Wan Yang, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
- Eunice Eunjung Yoo, Singapore Institute of Technology
- Lu Zhang, Michigan State University
Following the first ever Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Foundation Global Collegiate Marketing Case Competition between elite undergraduate and graduate universities, the Foundation announces the winners, Republic Polytechnic (undergraduate) and Purdue University (graduate – view winning entry)
See a full list of finalists and submissions below.
- Republic Polytechnic. Topic: Momentus Hotel Alexandra – New brand launch following 8-month renovation and resumption of international travel.
- University of Macau. Topic: Marriott Moxy in Mainland China – Identifying brand repositioning strategies and highlighting social space concept while seizing modern technology involvement focusing on GenZ.
- Purdue University. Topic: Luxor by MGM – Focus on becoming Esports entertainment empire to attract younger visitors. Includes B2B and B2C strategies.
- University of Macau. Topic: Galaxy Macau – Deficiencies in language services hurt service expectations at a time when Galaxy Entertainment Group has committed MOP$28.4 billion for attracting overseas markets and non-gaming projects.
- Hainan University. Topic: Haikou Marriott Hotel – After COVID-19, hotel needs innovation and positioning due to fierce competition as economy recovers.
- Purdue University. Topic: Indiana Convention Center – How to compete with two hotel competitors by marketing venue and service value.
- Purdue University. Topic: The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch – Do luxury services and activities performance match customer expectations?
- Shandong University. Topic: Atlantis – Post pandemic view of how hotels react to challenges and use marketing and technology in recovery.
- University of Macau. Topic: Banyan Tree Macao – Brand does not reflect market, too dependent on gaming segment.
- University of Macau. Topic: Sands China – Method to attract high-quality international tourists, particularly South Korean travelers using multiple approaches including Korean entertainers and a focus on family travel.
- Purdue University. Topic: Hilton Hawaiian Village – Employment strategies to ensure the ability to meet growing demand during and after pandemic recovery. Lengthy submission statement.
- Purdue University. Topic: Henn Na Hotel (Japan) – Why robot adoption failed from customers’ perspective, what suppliers can do about this.
- Temple University. Topic: Mandarin Oriental Go to Market Strategy – Marketing wellness programs.
- University of Houston. Topic: Blossom Hotel Houston – New market entrant is an independent local hotel seeking to maximize opportunities for growth, especially international medical tourism.
- University of Macau. Topic: Moxy Hotel Xuhui – Insufficient social atmosphere undermines brand development during fierce competition, hotels need to embrace Chinese culture and social customs to meet customer expectations and succeed.
The goal of the Global Collegiate Case Competition is to establish a cross-institution platform for future hospitality leaders to showcase professional excellence, empower hospitality education through experiential learning and enable industry-academia collaborations to champion future hospitality leaders.