A travel app that acts as a virtual concierge has been selected as a finalist in the prestigious International Accor Hotels Take Off! Competition.
A team of four second-year Hospitality Management Diploma students from the Queenstown Resort College developed the app, and will now be departing for Paris next month to take part in the finals.
Harry Greig, William Clarke, Jesse Raroa-Ward and Willow Lewis made the finals after three rounds against over 300 international teams.
The app functions as a virtual concierge for travellers, creating a profile based on factors such as age and interests. Accommodation, transport and activity options are then suggested for the traveller, tailored to their needs.
For the competition, students were asked to look at how mobile technologies will transform the hospitality industry, and the experience of customers. The Queenstown Resort College team developed the concept and app design, and created a video to demonstrate how it works.
The competition rules stated that students were not permitted to ask for technical help from their tutors, with the College acting only as a sounding board.
Harry Grieg says the competition shows just how important technology is 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.”
Switzerland, Thailand, Nigeria and Spain are the other teams in the finals; the Queenstown Resort College team is the only team in the southern hemisphere to make the finals.
Charlie Phillips, Queensland Resort College chief executive says that the achievement is the result of Kiwi ingenuity, teamwork and forward-thinking.
“This group did this all under their own steam, we didn’t give them any ideas. It just underlines the calibre of the students here – they really are world-class.
“Competitions like this show how many opportunities there are in the tourism 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.”