Pictured holding their award from this year's Smith Travel Research Market Study Competition are, from left, Dr. Chang Huh, Jeffrey Rector, Lorena Kleideiter, Jacob Carriero, and Matthew Bell.

Four students from Niagara University’s College of Hospitality and Tourism Management earned a second place finish at Smith Travel Research’s annual Market Study Competition.

Niagara seniors Matthew Bell, Jacob Carriero, Jeffrey Rector and International University of Applied Sciences exchange student Lorena Kleideiter, also a senior, spent two months preparing a comprehensive analysis of market research data of the hotel market in Rochester, N.Y. Their 30-minute presentation in front of the expert panel of three independent judges netted them second prize.

Only 11 undergraduate teams out of 32 schools from across the globe advanced to the final competition. The finalists included teams from Hong Kong Polytechnic University in China, Kansas State University, Les Roches in Switzerland, Missouri State University, Niagara University, San Francisco State University, University of Delaware, University of North Texas, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Virginia Tech University, West Virginia University.

The competition was held Nov. 12 at the HX: The Hotel Experience conference (formerly the International Hotel, Motel & Restaurant Show) in New York City.

Smith Travel Research has held the Market Study Competition yearly since 2015 – when a Niagara University team finished in first place – to offer students an opportunity to research, analyze, and present findings and practical business recommendations for a major metropolitan hotel market.

Dr. Chang Huh, advisor of the NU team, believes that the success of Niagara students in this competition can be attributed to the knowledge and analytical skills that are being constructed in the curricula in the university’s College of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

“Our courses place a pronounced emphasis on data-driven management and operations in the hospitality business,” said Dr. Huh, an associate professor of hospitality and tourism management at Niagara who teaches Analytical Methods of Planning and Control and Hospitality Luxury Marketing and Sales.

To learn more about Niagara University’s College of Hospitality and Tourism Management, please visit www.niagara.edu/hospitality or call 716.286.8279.

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