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STR’s SHARE Center crowns winners of Student Market Study Competition in Hong Kong

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HENDERSONVILLE, Tennessee—STR’s SHARE Center crowned a team from Michigan State University as the winner of the STR Student Market Study Competition held last month at Hong Kong Polytechnic University in conjunction with the 2019 ApacCHRIE and EuroCHRIE joint conference.  

The competition featured 13 teams representing colleges and universities from around the world. Each team selected a market to research and analyze in the months leading up to the conference. Teams of three to six students produced a 30-minute presentation and delivered findings to a panel of three industry judges: David Marriott, S[BW1] VP[BW2] , Hotels & Hospitality Group, Jones Lang LaSalle Limited; Gloria Chang, executive director, Horwath HTL Hong Kong; and Walter Ng, group director business development, Wharf Hotels Management Limited.

“After four highly successful years of conducting the competition in New York, we had the opportunity to do our first competition in Hong Kong,” said Duane Vinson, STR VP and assistant director of the SHARE Center. “We knew the location would make it more convenient for schools in the region to send teams. Come competition time, we were pleasantly surprised to have schools from around the world represented. We challenged the students to go deeper in their presentation than just relaying numbers, and rather tell their market’s story and explain the “why” in the numbers.”

Michigan State University’s winning team of Kennedy White, Brandon Abbo and James Miller presented on the Oakland market. Team Michigan State University’s presentation was advised by Seung Hyun Kim, associate professor in the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University.[HL3] 

“It was certainly an amazing learning experience for our MSU student team,” Seung Hyun Kim said. “Our students, represented with diverse backgrounds and career aspirations, were honored to be a part of the first international STR competition in Hong Kong. Our students prepared a detailed analysis of their chosen market and spent a lot of time to come up with practical takeaways from the data.  Most importantly, our student team learned how to work with team members effectively, which is an important aspect in hospitality education. This is my fourth year to be involved as faculty advisor, and it was very interesting to hear the presentations from such diverse international teams.”

Students from Oxford Brookes University (U.K.) finished second, and a team from Seneca College (Canada) placed third. Other finalists included Hong Kong Polytechnic University (China), Utah Valley University (U.S.) and University of Perpetual Help (Philippines). 

“The students worked hard over the past months, and their diligence and passion to represent their schools paid off,” Vinson said. “Every team delivered a very good presentation and our judges were impressed with the level of analysis and solid communication skills. Each student should be very proud of their accomplishment.”

Each presenting team received a plaque, while the top three teams received special recognition and the winning team received a US$1,000 cash prize.

About the SHARE Center

The STR SHARE (Supporting Hotel-related Academic Research and Education) Center supports schools around the globe by providing large volumes of hotel and tourism data, as well as related resources to professors and students for research, student projects and use in the classroom. The SHARE Center’s objective is to help improve the quality and increase the industry relevance of hospitality and tourism research and education. Launched in 2011, there are more than 830 member schools from 73 countries.

About STR

STR provides clients from multiple market sectors with premium, global data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights. Founded in 1985, STR maintains a presence in 15 countries with a corporate North American headquarters in Hendersonville, Tennessee, and an international headquarters in London, England. For more information, please visit

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