Pair of MSVU students praised for wine-themed hotel idea
TORONTO/ MAY 20, 2016/ THE CHRONICLE HERALD - A pair of Mount Saint Vincent University undergrads will split $3,000 in prize money after their hotel development idea made it through to the finals of a national competition to conceptualize accommodation concepts for tomorrow’s tourists.
Bachelor of tourism and hospitality management students Sarah O’Connor and Evangeline Sing placed second in the inaugural #hotelNEXT competition, held this week at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre as part of the 2016 Canadian Hotel Investment Conference.
O’Connor told the Chronicle Herald she and Sing pitched a concept for a 50-room Annapolis Valley hotel “fashioned around wine culture.”
She said it was initially nerve-wracking to pitch to the competition’s three judges and an audience of more than 200. The audience determined half of each entry’s score.
“But once we started going it went flawlessly and the nerves melted away. We were right on schedule and very happy with how it went.”
O’Connor and Sing, who met in their first year, heard about the completion from professor Candace Blayney, who sponsored their submission.
“Candace’s accommodations and leisure operations course required us to design a hotel, so it made sense to leverage our work for the course into a competition entry.”
O’Connor, who plans to pump the prize money into her education, says it’s likely she’ll work in tourism and hospitality.
Billed by organizers as Canada’s first millennial hotel competition, a conference spokesman said #hotelNEXT aimed to bridge a gap between the industry and Canada’s hotel training programs.
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