HFTP, University of Houston Present Hospitality Student Competition Winners


Capturing the Chinese tourism market is the topic of the winning webinar in a competition for graduate-level students completing a master’s certificate at the Conrad N. Hilton College, University of Houston (UH). The competition was sponsored by the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) Foundation and held for students earning their HFTP-UH Global Masters Certificate, a program for candidates of the Master of Science in Global Hospitality Business, a partnership between the University of Houston, the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne. The top webinar was titled "Top Strategies to Attract Outbound Chinese Travelers," and was produced by students Nieves Carbon, Yichun Fan, Yilei Sheng, Luc Espaillard.

The webinars were produced over the course of the MS Global Hospitality Business program, where the students were assigned to complete a thorough study on a critical hospitality industry topic. The competitors were then tasked with presenting the results as a webinar. Upon completion, a group of judges from HFTP watched the webinars and voted for the competition winners, identifying the top three.

"The presentation style in each of these webinars were top-tier, addressing incredibly current topics much like what is presented at HFTP conferences," says HFTP Foundation Executive Director Lucinda Hart, CAE, MBA. "Without a doubt, these students are entering their careers with a strong background."

The winning teams were announced at a reception on December 12 at the University of Houston. The winners included:

  1. Top Strategies to Attract Outbound Chinese Travelers
    Graduate Students: Nieves Carbon, Yichun Fan, Yilei Sheng, Luc Espaillard

  2. Virtual Reality Employee Training Webinar
    Graduate Students: Heng-Yu Chin, Hava Suchait, Chien-Yao Pai, Etii Bhsin , Siran Liao

  3. How Does 5G Affect Hotel the Hotel Industry
    Graduate Students: Danique Nijhof, Kanchan Balani, Sofia Gallego de Chaves, Sijia Zhang

The prized webinars are now available to the HFTP membership on the association's ProLinks webinar site. In addition, members of the winning teams will be given a complimentary one-year HFTP membership to help the soon to graduate students navigate their career paths.

Agnes DeFranco, professor and Conrad N. Hilton Distinguished Chair says, "UH is very pleased to partner with HFTP in this competition. HFTP is always at the forefront of providing solutions and ideas for industry issues. This webinar competition is another great example of HFTP, thinking outside the box, working with our young professionals in creating alternative solutions."

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