University of New Orleans graduate students in the Lester E. Kabacoff School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration earned first place in the 2020 STR Market Study Competition held virtually Nov. 21-22.
The competition included 50 teams representing 44 colleges and universities from 17 countries. It is designed to give students an opportunity to showcase their knowledge and research ability using data provided by STR.
The competition emphasizes teamwork, analytical expertise, critical thinking and presentation skills.
The team, composed of Caroline Andrews, Jasmines Curtis, Yvonne Everhardt and Montana Pinell, was tasked with analyzing the Austin, Texas hotel market under the guidance of hotel, restaurant and tourism administration professors Han Chen and Yvette Green.
The team presentations were evaluated and scored by seasoned STR speakers. Ten undergraduate teams and five graduate teams were selected to advance to the final round, where they conducted a 30-minute online presentation to a panel of senior-level industry judges.
"It was a team effort. The graduate students who participated in the STR market study enjoyed the whole competition process, right from choosing the city, analyzing real-world data, drawing practical conclusions and presenting them in a professional manner in front of judges from the industry,” Chen said. “We appreciate STR for providing a platform entirely online during a challenging time.
“The students and the faculty are grateful for this opportunity to represent the University of New Orleans and the school of HRT.”
Each presenting team received a plaque, while the top three teams received special recognition and the winning teams received a $1,000 prize.
SRT is an international company that provides data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights for global hospitality sectors.