Queenstown Resort College second-year diploma in
hospitality management students (from left) Willow Lewis,
Harry Greig, Jesse Raroa-Ward and William Clarke, who have
been named as finalists in a global competition looking at
how mobile technologies will transform the hospitality
industry and customer experience. Photo supplied.
Four Queenstown students will be flown all expenses paid
to Paris next month after being announced as the only southern
hemisphere finalists in a global Accor Hotels competition.
Queenstown Resort College second-year diploma in hospitality
management students Harry Greig, William Clarke, Jesse
Raroa-Ward and Willow Lewis will be judged against four other
teams entered in the International Accor Hotels Take Off!
Competition, which tasked entrants with looking at how mobile
technologies will transform the hospitality industry and
The students created a smartphone app concept to act as a
''virtual concierge'' for travellers and are the only
finalists from the southern hemisphere.
The other teams in the final are from Switzerland, Thailand,
Nigeria and Spain, chosen from 300 teams entered across the
The basis of the QRC students' app was a system in which
users created a profile based on factors such as age and
interests and fed that information into the app, which then
gave them tailored options for accommodation, transport and
The group created the concept and app design and made a video
to demonstrate how it would work.
They were not allowed to ask for technical help from tutors
and while they were able to use the QRC as a ''sounding
board'', the work was done on their own.
Mr Grieg said the competition demonstrated how important
technology was becoming in the hotel industry.
''We've grown up with this technology, but the implications
for the industry are huge and really exciting.
''Hopefully, we can go to Paris and take out [the] top prize.
It's a pretty amazing opportunity to represent Queenstown
Resort College and New Zealand.''
QRC chief executive Charlie Phillips said the achievement was
the result of ''Kiwi ingenuity, teamwork and forward
thinking'' and served as further proof studying tourism could
lead to ''huge opportunities'' within the industry.
''The tourism industry in New Zealand alone is worth $23.5
billion, and employs one in 10 New Zealanders.
''Tourism is a career of the future, particularly for those
that have an appropriate qualification.''
The team flies to Paris on June 17 for the finals. While the
competition will continue the theme of digital applications
in hospitality, the exact details of the final are unknown.
The winning team will receive an all-inclusive trip to one of
15 destinations in Europe, staying in a four- or five-star