Heidi Anaya

Heidi Anaya
April 2, 2022


8th Annual EuroCHRIE University Challenge ends in outstanding finish!

The 8th Annual EuroCHRIE University Challenge, delivered by Russell Partnership Technology in partnership with EuroCHRIE, came to an exciting finish on March 25th.

The teams

The 17 schools competing were:

  • Strathmore University (Kenya)
  • Stenden Hotel Management School (South Africa)
  • Prague University of Economics and Business (Czech Republic)
  • The Budapest Business School (Hungary)
  • Modul University (Austria)
  • The University College of Northern Denmark
  • Hotel Management School Maastricht (The Netherlands)
  • Odessa National Academy of Food Technologies (Ukraine)
  • Vocational College of Hospitality and Tourism Maribor (Slovenia)
  • Boma International Hospitality College (Kenya)
  • ESSEC Paris (France)
  • Cph Business Academy (Denmark)
  • Özyeğin University School of Applied Sciences (Turkey)
  • Technological University Dublin (Ireland)
  • FHWien der WKW (Austria)
  • University of Rijeka (Croatia)
  • Breda University of Applied Sciences (The Netherlands).

The format

The teams, comprised of three to five students and one instructor, competed in a Simulation Challenge in two competitive sets of hotels (with one hotel operated by each school). Each week they formulated strategic plans to drive their hotels’ position in the competitive set, with a focus on Market Performance, Financial Management, Guest Satisfaction, and Associate Engagement. The winning team in each competitive set was the hotel with the best overall balanced scorecard at the end of the four-week competition. The top hotels from each competitive set were then compared against each other using a variety of metrics and a final overall winner was declared.

While competing, the students also completed their Certificate in Hospitality Business Acumen. This was delivered utilizing online learning modules and weekly web conferences.

The result

This was a very dynamic competition with teams devising different strategies to drive their hotels forward in the competitive set. At the conclusion of the competition, it was the team from the Cph Business Academy who were the winners, with second place going to the University of Rijeka.

This was the largest EuroCHRIE Challenge to date, with 17 schools and 67 students participating. Those 67 students represented schools from 13 different countries – and 21 different countries of birth! The commitment and focus each of the students displayed in meeting deadlines and actively participating during the weekly web conferences was outstanding.

We wish to give special acknowledgment to the team from the Odessa National Academy of Food Technologies in Ukraine who, after the first two weeks, had to withdraw from the competition. We continue to keep them in our thoughts.

Sincere congratulations to all involved! Russell Partnership Technology will be delighted to honour the top two teams at the EuroCHRIE Conference in Apeldoorn in October.

What the teams said

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Our EuroCHRIE 2022 University Challenge experience was truly a rollercoaster. Emotions and excitement were high from the start, but we knew that we could deliver results if we stayed focused. Thanks to the other teams in our competitive market for pushing us throughout the competition. They forced us to make difficult decisions and to take risks. We applaud the runner up, the University of Rijeka, for their impressive results. Finally, to our team leader Kasia Petersen; Thank you for giving us the opportunity and help needed to win this year’s competition. We learned a lot from this challenge and look forward to putting our newfound competencies to use!

  • Mads Toft Krogh
  • Cristina Madan
  • Matea Puljic
  • Christian Holm
  • Instructor Lead: Kasia Petersen
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It has been an extraordinary six weeks! At the very beginning, we would like to thank Heidi because she was a wonderful host of this competition, helpful explaining everything in details and a good spirit of this challenge.

We are thankful that we got the opportunity to participate in the 8th EuroCHRIE Challenge. Starting the competition, we did not have high expectations while this is the first time that our school is competing and we are very happy and proud with the achieved results.

This challenge helped us to apply the things that we learned through our education in a real-life situation. It took a lot of effort and work but in the same time, it was a lot of fun running a hotel business in a competitive environment. It was an amazing experience and we would recommend it to everyone!

At the end, we would like to congratulate everybody for their great work and fair play.

All the best from the Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management team.

  • Eleonora ROJNIĆ
  • Lucija IMBRIŠA
  • Adrian GOSTEVČIĆ
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The EuroCHRIE Challenge was full of learning opportunities and thoroughly incorporated hospitality expectations and trends into the challenges. Through these experiences, we learnt new aspects of the quarterly decisions of running a business and making tough decisions. The challenges helped sharpen our keen observation skills of trends to look for and noted that the hospitality industry is about understanding forecasting. During this time, we learned unique techniques and strategies which will be helpful throughout our industry careers. The informational lessons made us understand the content and learn how to use it practically. It was a joyful and marvelous experience, and we expect many more unique experiences to come.

  • Aoife Sinclair
  • Emma O’Sullivan
  • Jennifer Doyle
  • Hailey Bonner
  • Instructor Lead: John Ryan
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During the EuroCHRIE Challenge 2022, we represented the Breda University of Applied Sciences team. We really enjoyed being ‘in the shoes of’ the management team of our virtual hotel The Duchess, and together make decisions in the field of Revenue Management, Staffing, Refurbishments and Marketing & Advertising. Working together in an international environment with various other European hospitality schools and meeting representatives of these schools during the weekly web conference was an amazing experience. We want to thank Heidi for her helpful guidance and would really recommend anyone to take part in the simulation.

  • Esmée Bevelander
  • Judi Veldwijk
  • Radostina Atanasova
  • Dennis Tak
  • Instructor Lead: Stan Josephi
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The EuroCHRIE Challenge was overall a very positive experience for us. We have learned, that forecasting a business quarter, or a full business year, isn’t just writing down numbers randomly. There are so many factors that have to be considered. Another crucial part with forecasting is that all decisions are built upon each other. There is no fresh start, so to say, during the business year. The challenge also confirmed that a good team is the most important aspect. If you have team members you can rely on, any obstacle can be managed. And that also applies to any professional work environment.

  • Philipp Weichselbaum
  • Julia Murtinger
  • Eva Stelling
  • Sophie-Marie Populorum
  • Instructor Lead: Florian Aubke
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The EuroCHRIE Challenge 2022 was a great experience for us from Slovenia, Vocational College of Hospitality and Tourism Maribor. It gave us great knowledge and new perspectives on hotel management. We enjoyed competitive tension between teams, the team spirits, and the lessons Ms Heidi Anaya provided about simulation RevSim. We are satisfied with our teamwork at our Hotel Cafek. It was a great learning curve that will help us build our future careers. We appreciate such opportunities and would like to thank Ms Heidi Anaya from Russell Partnership for the brilliant organisation of the competition and EuroCHRIE federation.

  • Nuša Prejac
  • Janina Bauman
  • Nina Golub
  • David Tovornik
  • Instructor Lead: Mitja Petelin
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We are happy to share our key takeaways from the EuroCHRlE Challenge. First of all, we got a chance to get familiar with different types of financial statements that are crucial not only for managing real properties but also in the process of acquiring new ones. Another essential aspect to learn was the interdependency of all departments. The simulation truly shows how the hotel is a living organism and a cycle at the same time — everything is connected, and all departments are mutually influencing. Lastly, the simulation shows amazingly how important the correct forecasting and budgeting are. The challenge really helps to realize that the incorrect prognoses can cost extra money or “cost” the hotel unsatisfied guests.

Overall, we are extremely thankful for an opportunity to participate in such a realistic simulation as the Hotel ATLAS Team.

  • Alina Utkina
  • L’ubomír Bielik
  • Uliana Bazalytska
  • Instructor Leads: Zdenka Petrů & Zuzana Kvítková
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First of all, we must state that we are very happy and proud to take part in such a competition and to be with you. It was a unique experience for us.

Thanks to this competition, we had the opportunity to experience practically all the knowledge we have learned theoretically in this six-week period. What a contest. We knew that there were different perspectives, but we had not had the chance to see this before. Thanks to this simulation, we had the opportunity to compete with our future colleagues who have different ideas. Many thanks to all of them for this. It was an enjoyable competition where we both learned and applied what we learned.

  • Ahmet ÖZYURT
  • Zeynep Dila AKTAŞ
  • Instructor Lead: Hanım Kader ŞANLIÖZ ÖZGEN
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Luca’s feedback: “This challenge allowed us to take up many challenges in a given time. The team cohesion was the key to success, in addition to providing us with additional knowledge in revenue management.”

Maxime’s feedback: “Not only is the EuroCHRIE Challenge helping to create cohesion and team spirit in a restrained time, it also helps to create a high perspective vision on hotel operations, with a competitive mindset.”

Theo’s feedback: “The EuroCHRIE Challenge enlightened the different pillars that are necessary to run a great hotel business. It was really interesting to simulate a real market and see how it evolves depending on the choices we made.”

Elise’s feedback: “Thank you very much for this opportunity. I enjoyed the frame of this contest that allowed us to compete with several foreign schools. The course material is very valuable and it allows us to have an overall vision of hotel operations. I think I will re-use the models and forecasts we created into my professional life. Not to mention the knowledge that is given by our coach, by the program itself and through the exam/ diploma, I am proud to be part of this 2022 promotion”.

  • Théo CURTI
  • Maxime GENSSE
  • Instructor Lead: Delphine Bianchini
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Team Modul University Vienna consisting of Nora Grattoni, Manuel Strasser, Kay Dieckmann and Felix Fuhrken coached by Dr. Richard Hrankai had a very insightful journey being part of EuroCHRIE University Challenge 2022. We learned a lot about how to make decisions and what impacts these have on our hotel performance, constantly adapting to new market trends and competition threats. We not only learnt a lot about the market dynamics and got a better understanding of the financials, but we also grew together as a team. We are really grateful for this opportunity and we would encourage everyone who is given this chance to take it!

  • Nora Grattoni
  • Manuel Strasser
  • Kay Dieckmann
  • Felix Fuhrken
  • Instructor Lead: Dr. Richard Hrankai
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The competition was the second that the school was participating in. On the background of Revenue simulations, we were upbeat and ready for the challenge. Coming with name Enkare Nyrobi was the beginning of the exciting journey.

The simulations requires a lot of concentration and teamwork. The exams and the whole process is a great eye opener.

The challenge is well-organized and the procedures are direct. The decision making requires the team to work extra time and be ready before the next challenge. We noted the first decision made on quarter one has an overall reflection on the final performance. Despite putting a strong challenge on rooms fair share on quarter three and four, our performance on quarter one was disappointing.

The challenge gave us chance to connect with other students and the six week simulations and exams were well done.

The lead Consultant, Heidi Anaya is ever there, this was a motivation to us. The Team Leader Gideon Okinda took us through the exciting phases of the challenge with ease.

With the above we are glad to have taken part in the challenge, looking forward to using the certificate to make our resume better.

Wish we had a second chance to redo the challenge.

  • Ebrahim Hassanali
  • Shania Khan
  • Din James Ekeke
  • Instructor Lead: Gideon Okinda
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On behalf of Stenden South Africa, we would like to thank EuroCHRIE for allowing us to once again submit a team to participate in the annual challenge. We found the challenge and modules very interesting and learnt a lot of new information with regards to strategy formulation. Overall, our team, Blue River Hotel, learnt a lot about communication methods and had a lot of fun completing the challenge. We learnt a lot about owners’ priorities, management contracts, managing finance priorities and much more.

  • Michaela Steel
  • Yvette Basson
  • Michelle Gray
  • Cassidy van Rensburg
  • Instructor Lead: Clare du Plessis
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Commencing the challenge we were all very eager to broaden our revenue management and forecasting knowledge. In our curriculum, we experienced a similar simulation before and we think it is safe to say the Hotel Business Acumen simulation exceeded our expectations and overly sufficed in our educational wishes.

Aside from the academic fulfilment we thoroughly enjoyed participating in the challenge and it increased the bond we already had as a team due to a previous challenge.

A sincere thanks to Heidi Anaya for guiding us through the challenge and the remarkable feedback is in order; furthermore, a thanks to our fantastic institutional instructor, Mr Luc Houben for providing insights and advice where necessary, whilst leaving us to engage in the thinking and decision making ourselves.

Greetings from Maastricht, Team Mosae Trajectum

  • Linh Thuy Ho
  • Sven Bakker
  • Remi Peeters
  • Thijs Pluymakers
  • Instructor Lead: Luc Houben
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Participating in the EuroCHRIE University challenge was an extremely valuable, educational and exceptional experience for all of us! We enjoyed the given opportunity to be “independent hotel managers” and to learn how to adapt to the new market made of other hotels. The variety of financial reports available in the simulation added up to the realism of the competition, which we highly appreciated as we could analyse our decisions and their consequences in more depth. During the competition we developed a deeper understanding for teamwork and were able to observe the importance of not only our own decisions but the decisions of the overall market, just like in real life. We would like to thank for the amazing experience and opportunity!

  • Josip Pokos
  • Sabina Kubicová
  • Mia Louise Møberg Plesner
  • Matija Kolman
  • Instructor Lead: Lone Møller Wejrum
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It has been a fantastic experience for all of our team members (of Budapest Business School) as we got the opportunity to practice our hotel management skills and compete with our friends all over the world. The REVsim platform demonstrates a very detailed agenda of hotel managers, such as revenue management, staffing management, finance, and service quality management. Through each cycle, we could understand better how different decisions could affect the overall result of the hotel´s performance, and by looking at our competitor´s scorecard, we also learned how other strategies could work. Above all, the biggest lesson for us is that managing a hotel can be very interesting and challenging at the same time since we have to balance all of the criteria of hotel performance. Besides, managing a hotel is not only limited to earning high profit, but also to satisfy stakeholders, like the customers, staff, and investors. Last but not least, we would like to thank EuroCHRIE, especially Heidi, for the useful lessons and feedbacks during the competition process to help us improve and enjoy the competition to the fullest.

  • Nguyen Mi Linh
  • Annisa Husnul Latifah
  • Petra Moravcsik
  • Phuong Thao Nguyen
  • Instructor Lead: Klára Karakasné Morvay
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EuroCHRIE University Challenge 2022 was a fun and educative experience! It was six weeks of fun and lots of jogging your mind to ensure you feel how it is like being a hotel general manager or even a revenue manager, especially during the simulation exercises. It was thrilling and competitive.

The competition was fierce and everyone brought their A-game to be the best and all this brought an opportunity to study and learn from our competitors and see where to improve our results. This challenge has opened our eyes on how the industry works and what the managers look for as performance indicators in their hotels; everything is important for the hotel to run smoothly and to be the best in the Industry. Learning the balancing act was worth the challenge. The experience gave us an overall understanding how to manage a hotel property and be the best in the industry. The whole Competition was very well organized and managed.

The weekly meetings where we got a glimpse of each other’s thoughts were enlightening. As for the team dynamics, we could not have dreamt of a better group to have done this with. Thank you for the experience; we enjoyed it to bits! We are grateful for the opportunity and honoured to have shared it with EuroCHRIE 2022.

  • Wambui Wanja Mburu
  • Lodunga Naut Tamari
  • Lyn Wamuyu Wanjohi
  • Faith Kwamboka Osoro
  • Chege Maureen Wanjiku
  • Instructor Lead: Lucy Gikonyo
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This terrific group of students and their instructor from Ukraine were only able to be a part of the competition for the first two weeks before having to withdraw.

We continue to keep them in our thoughts.

  • Pieriev Yevhenii
  • Anastasiia Shestova
  • Abdullakh Elizabeth
  • Andrii Strilets
  • Instructor Lead: Kateryna Fedosova

Heidi Anaya
Head of Education – Russell Partnership Technology

Heidi Anaya

Heidi Anaya
April 2, 2022

Last updated on June 30, 2022