Students and faculty in the College of Charleston MBA program recently returned from China and Hong Kong where they studied the daily operations and finances at two Marriott hotels, one of the largest hotel chains in the world.
The summer 2014 trip was part of the coursework for the Hospitality Revenue Management Focus Area in the School of Business MBA program, which also includes focus areas in finance and in marketing.
Seven students made the trip along with business faculty members Robert Frash, chair of the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management; and Bing Pan, associate professor and head of research in the Office of Tourism Analysis.
The trip was funded through the philanthropic generosity of Harold and Deborah Imperatore, parents of two College of Charleston alumni and two current students.
The students lodged at the Jinan Tourism College in Shenzhen, China. They conducted case study analyses of revenue management issues at Marriott five-star hotels in Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
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“The case studies included site visits, live market analysis, and statistical analysis and modeling of the hotels’ revenue reports,” Frash said.
The students also worked on data analysis and forecasting techniques, visited local brand hotels, and learned about China’s hotel development, Pan added.
Working and learning in real-life situations in foreign countries such as China helps students better understand the differences and similarities between the hospitality industries in different countries.
“Communicating with local students and local people also gave the students a different perspective on business operations and a different view of the world,” Pan said. “This will help them succeed in the global competition of hospitality and tourism businesses.”