A team of hospitality students from Vatel International Business School in Thailand have won Accor’s 2014 Take Off! Student Challenge in Paris. The annual Take Off! Student Challenge presents a platform forstudents to showcase their creative abilities while giving Accor valuable insights for developing hospitalityconcepts for the future and identify a pool of talent for the future. This year’s competition – the third annualsuch event – saw some 500 students from 68 universities, business schools and hotel managementschools worldwide compete to present original ideas for mobile services to offer new customerexperiences to hotel guests.
This year’s Take Off! Student Challenge took place in three rounds between April and June. In the first round,132 teams presented their project with online photo montages in April. 17 short-listed teams went on to shareonline videos illustrating their proposed application. Finally, on June 17 and 18, five finalist teams travelled toAccor headquarters Paris to present their ideas to a team of hospitality experts, including Accor CEOSebastien Bazin.
The winning team from Vatel International Business School in Thailand – Nakorn Sirinuntananon,Rudeerus Apinuntano and Pitchaya Mepattana – imagined a comprehensive application that could beadapted within any hotel of the Group to allow guests to control room elements, order services or organizetheir trips from the comfort of their phone. As a reward for their creativity, the team has won a holiday in aluxury Accor hotel of their choice.
The five finalist teams included another team from Asia-Pacific – Qwacé, from Queenstown ResortCollege of Hospitality in New Zealand, who created a mobile personal assistant bringing customers 100%personalized services.
“I am proud that this year’s winners came from Thailand – and that another team from New Zealand made it tothe top 5, showcasing the great talent and creativity we see here in the Asia-Pacific region,” said PatrickOllivier Chief Human Resources Officer, Accor Asia-Pacific. “The Take Off! Student Challenge is a greatplatform to strengthen existing relationships with schools and to create new ones.
”In addition to empowering students to put their education to good use in a creative way, the Take Off! StudentChallenge also serves as a powerful conduit for Accor to identify and hire the leaders of tomorrow. Accorplans to hire over 30,000 employees over the next three years in the Asia-Pacific region alone.
“Each year, we are fortunate to have several of the finalists go on to join us in our hotels,” added Mr. Ollivier.“For example, last year three finalists from New Zealand found jobs with our hotels following the competition.We look forward to discovering even more new talents and projects in the next edition of Take Off! in 2015!”With over 3,600 hotels and 160,000 employees in 92 countries worldwide, Accor is one of the leadingemployers in the hospitality industry.
Through its Academie Accor in-house learning and development division,the Group is also the world’s largest hospitality schools. To learn more about the Take Off! Student Challenge, visit www.accortakeoff.com