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Students participated in first Smith Travel Research Market Study Competition at 2015 Hotel Experience Show in New York

Dr.Tse and students during the market study competition

Left to right: Brian Baker, Yuchao Shao, August Rolufs and Dr. Eliza Tse.

On Nov. 8-10, undergraduate students Brian Baker, August Rolufs, Joseph Bauer and graduate student Yuchao Shao attended the Hotel Experience Show (formerly International Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Show) in New York City. For some of them, the trip was their first time visiting the Big Apple. The American Hotel and Lodging Association organized the show held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Thousands of exhibitors and participants from around the world showcased their wares and benefited from educational seminars. The event exposed students to innovative trends and products in the field.

The student team presented their findings to industry leaders in the first Smith Travel Research (STR) Market Study Competition, which culminated at the Hotel Experience Show. The Mizzou team was under the supervision of Dr. Eliza Tse, department chair. Student groups from participating universities had a guided opportunity to utilize the data provided by STR and create comprehensive market studies on chosen cities. Twenty-four universities participated in the competition, and the Mizzou team placed as one of the runners-up. This was a rare opportunity for undergraduate students to interact with students from other universities and learn from each other's presentations.

To finish off the experience, students had the opportunity to visit two historic luxury hotels, the Lotte Palace New York and the Peninsula Hotel. Both hotels are located in prime New York City destinations and considered vintage hotels because they were built around the 1920s. The Peninsula Hotels are a division of Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited consisting of eight hotels in major gateways cities around the world, including Chicago, New York and Beverly Hills.

"These two tours helped me to understand [the range of] possibilities [that may come forth] in my career," Baker said. "Both hotels were beautiful and had excellent service. It was also very interesting and fun to see how well connected Dr. Tse was within the industry. All the experiences we had on this trip were extremely positive and motivational for both my education and professional life. I am beyond grateful for this opportunity given to us by the University of Missouri and also Dr. Tse for all her help and hard work in planning and organizing this trip. This was an experience I will never forget and can only hope for these opportunities to come to others in the future."

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