A team of five graduate students from the Lester E. Kabacoff School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration was named a finalist in a national market study competition.
Jolene Gettridge, Tanvi Shah, Brian McCallon, Lisa Rourke and Nicole Schnell created a presentation based on data examining trends and projections in New Orleans’ hotel market.
Their team was among 30 invited by STR, a travel research firm, to compete in the competition. UNO was one of six chosen as finalists. As a result, the team was asked to present its results during the Hotel Experience, formerly called the International Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Show, in New York in November.
Harsha Chacko, professor and graduate coordinator in the hotel, restaurant and tourism school, said this was the first time STR has hosted the contest. STR is the leading global provider of competitive benchmarking, information services and research for the hotel industry.
The team relied on about 30 years of data, illustrating growth in New Orleans’ hotel market as well as strong performance in occupancy, annual daily room rental rates and revenue per room. The 20-minute presentation also showed that demand for hotel rooms in New Orleans now outpaces pre-Katrina rates.
“They did a really good job,” Chacko said.