Bournemouth University student hospitality management team wins first international ‘Passion4Hospitality Business Management Game 2014’

Hospitality management students from Bournemouth University’s School of Tourism have won the very first international ‘Passion4Hospitality Management Business Game 2014’.

In the final – held last week at University College Birmingham – the Bournemouth University team beat off the fierce challenge of hospitality management student teams from runner-up Lucerne-based IMI University Centre Switzerland; and joint third-placed University College Birmingham and Ipswich-based University Campus Suffolk.

In total, eight international student teams competed for the coveted ‘Passion4HospitalityBusiness Management Game 2014’ – delivered by The Total Simulator Company (HOTS); and arena4finance, in partnership with the Institute of Hospitality, HOSPA (Hospitality Professionals Association for Finance, Revenue Management and IT) and CHME (Council for Hospitality Management Education).

Crispin Farbrother -- Programme Leader for Hospitality in the School of Tourism at Bournemouth University – said: “The team felt well prepared, but as the day went on the excitement was mixed with elements of tension as they appreciated the seriousness, competitiveness and quality of the other teams. Meeting the other team members was of value and the close finish did nothing, but add to the experience of the day. Winning was fantastic for the team and some members are already planning to return and defend their title in 2015”.

The Bournemouth University Hospitality Management Winners

The jubilant Bournemouth Students are pictured back row left to right: Ben Sansom; Omar Giavelli; Oliver Palmer. Seated left to right: Hannah Styles; Ellen McCausland and Yasmin Okerika

Commenting on the final, Debra Adams, Head of Professional Development at arena4finance, said: “It was a delight to work with four committed teams, all of whom worked tirelessly all day to turn around the fortunes of their virtual hotels, based on a range of investment strategies. We are looking forward to next year!”

For the final, each team – in direct competition with each other – was given the responsibility of managing individual hotels within the simulated environment.

The teams were tasked with increasing shareholder value, judged by assessing the figures for Return on Capital Employed (ROCE) and retained earnings. Teams were given a brand document to follow and had the daily operations of the hotel to contend with. The teams could sell rooms through online channels, set their rate strategies and manage their social media profiles.

Peter Russell, HOTS Operations Manager, said, “We wanted to set the teams a challenge that forced them to think about their overall strategy in relation to increasing shareholder value. It was great to see how they all coped with this and it seems that the future of the hospitality industry is in safe hands, if these are the managers of the future”.

The properties all started the same, with each team having a bank loan in place, allowing them to add extra facilities if they wished. All four teams started by consolidating their positions, whilst adding capital expenditure projects to their remit. In the second half of the simulated year, they were able to reap the rewards of their earlier decisions and all teams started to turn a profit. This was a great achievement, considering the competitive market place they were in.

HVS kindly donated a prize for the winning team -- a copy of ‘Hotels & Motels: Valuations and Market Studies’, authored by Stephen Rushmore and Erich Baum from HVS. The winning team will now be able to use their prize to work out the value of the property they managed within the simulation!

Due to the positive feedback received, the ‘Passion4Hospitality Management Business Game’ will be taking place again next year. If a university or hospitality management school is interested in taking part, contact the teams from HOTS (Peter Russell – on telephone: 020 7665 1888 or email: prussell@etosc.com ); or arena4finance (Cara McElroy on telephone: 01202 842 809 or email:  cara.mcelroy@arena4finance.co.uk).

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