23 June 2010

Video cameras and iPhones are the tools students have identified as important for hotels of the future during a competition at The University of Queensland.

A host of students from UQ’s School of Tourism presented futuristic proposals as part of the Holiday Inn Hotel Technology Competition on June 8.

Students Joyce Chen, Perlin Tay, Poh Suan Ng and Xue Ping Yen won the competition, with proposals such as iPhone applications to help train hotel staff and loaning cameras to guests for video blogs.

Julia Frauenberger, Coralie Druelle, Maxime Caffarel and Leah Bennetts came second in the competition, ahead of Salina Ahmad Shah, Angela Lin and Michael Brennan.

Teams presented proposals for a fictitious hotel, with a focus on its operating systems, use of green technology and revenue.

Judging the teams were Holiday Inn Brisbane general manager Raymond Faulkner, InterContinental Hotels Group Queensland IT manager Duncan Stevens and Hospitality Training Association chief executive officer Phillip Charlton.

Ms Tay said her team was surprised to win the competition, admitting to nerves during the presentation at the Holiday Inn.

“We put in our best effort. More than the win itself, the whole process was an enriching experience,” she said.

“It was an honour to be presenting our work in front of so many reputable industry leaders.
The judges liked that we provided solutions that were down-to-earth.”

The team proposed iPhone applications featuring interactive hotel training lessons for staff and five-minute leadership training videos for managers, Ms Tay said.

Another proposal was to loan video cameras to hotel guests so they could show their experiences to highlight to staff what worked well and where improvements could be made, she said.

The competition helped team members put into practice what they learned from lecturer Anna Hood, as well as giving them a confidence boost, she said.

“We learned perseverance and team work. They both go a long way in establishing our careers in hospitality. Essentially, it is the hunger for knowledge, interest and passion that bring one far in the hospitality industry.”

The team’s members hoped to gain employment in tourism and hospitality when they graduated, in organizations such as airlines, hotel chains and tourism marketing boards.

Media: Anna Hood (3346 9318) or Erik de Wit (0417 088 772)