The 9th Annual EuroCHRIE University Challenge, delivered by Russell Partnership Technology in partnership with EuroCHRIE, came to an exciting finish on March 24th.
The 16 schools competing were Strathmore University (Kenya), Stenden University (South Africa), The Budapest Business School (Hungary), Modul University (Austria), The University of Rijeka (Croatia), The University College of Northern Denmark, Hotel Management School Maastricht (The Netherlands), Odessa National University of Technology (Ukraine), Vocational College of Hospitality and Tourism Maribor (Slovenia), Boma International Hospitality College (Kenya), Thomas More University of Applied Sciences (Belgium), Cph Business Academy (Denmark), Özyeğin University School of Applied Sciences (Turkey), Technological University Dublin (Ireland), FHWien der WKW (Austria), and Hotel Management School NHL Stenden (The Netherlands).
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.
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 University of Rijeka who were declared the winners, with second place going to the Budapest Business School.
This year’s EuroCHRIE Challenge involved 64 students representing schools from 12 different countries – and 27 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.
Sincere congratulations to all involved! Russell Partnership Technology will be delighted to honour the top two teams at the EuroCHRIE Conference in Vienna in October.
Head of Education – Russell Partnership Technology
What the teams say
Odesa National University of Technology (Ukraine)
Özyeğin University School of Applied Sciences
It was a process in which we learnt to divide work in teams, manage time, brainstorm, make choices together, and take chances. While each of us gained further hotel management skills, we learnt to think in multiple dimensions.
We extended our perspectives by seeing the thinking of our colleagues from other European countries as we heard diverse questions, opinions, and responses in the interviews done throughout the competition. Finally, we discovered our personalities while obtaining significant analytical information from the videos we watched on a weekly basis. Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity.
- Ayah Hussein
- Ece Varnali
- Enes Kaya
Instructor Lead: Hanım Kader Şanlıöz-Özgen
University of Rijeka (Winners)
Participating in the 9th annual EuroCHRIE University Challenge was a truly rewarding experience. The REVsim simulation gave us the opportunity to run a hotel and make decisions in real time, which allowed us to learn a lot about the complexities of running a hotel business.
We believe that every hospitality student should have the opportunity to use REVsim because it provides a hands-on approach to learning about the challenges and opportunities of running a hotel. The simulations helped us understand how many different factors significantly affect a hotel’s performance.
Overall, the EuroCHRIE University Challenge was an exceptional opportunity to apply our academic knowledge in a practical setting and develop our problem-solving and decision-making skills. We would highly recommend this competition to all hospitality students who wish to pursue a career in this industry.
- Dea Dević
- Kristina Kasap
- Emma Superina
Instructor Lead: Katarina Poldrugovac
Technological University Dublin
Woohoo what an amazing few weeks taking part in the EuroCHRIE Challenge 2023! It has been such an insightful and eye-opening experience for us.
Connecting with other students from around the world with the same interests as us has been incredible! Really grateful for this opportunity to learn from Heidi and to have taken our business acumen exams.
- Kate Doran
- Sam Donohoe
- Felix Campbell
- Emma Reilly
- Michael McMahon
Instructor Lead: John Ryan
Budapest Business School (Runners-Up)
The EuroCHRIE Challenge was a great experience, every part of it! We all learned a lot about teamwork and how important that is in our future career.
It was out of our comfort zone to make decisions on hotel operations and understand how those can affect the outcome. We learned how to calculate with the different key figures and measure the key priorities at the same time. It was important to take risks through the whole competition and handle those well. It was a great way to practice the things we already know about hotel industry and we also learned a lot of new knowledge during the weekly conferences and HBA modules. It was definitely one of our biggest experiences that we will take with us to real life. We also had a lot of fun! We are very grateful for our supportive teacher, Klara Morvay Karakas, and the most helpful, kind, and professional host, Heidi Anaya, and Russell Partnership, that we had the chance to take part in this beneficial competition.
Modul University Vienna
The past five weeks we, five Hospitality Management students at Modul University in Vienna, had the chance to participate in the 9th Annual EuroCHRIE University Challenge.
During this time, we managed our own hotel using the REVsim business simulation tool and competed against seven other universities within our group. Next to that we were able to expand our business management knowledge and earn our Hotel Business Acumen certificate through Russell Partnership Technology. We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to take part in this competition and are already looking forward to new challenges in our studies, but also later in our professional lives.
- Carlotta Böhme
- Sabrina Kind
- David Sargsian
- Marie-Sophie Mende
- Alexander Malkowski
Instructor Lead: Maroun Aouad
Vocational College of Hospitality and Tourism Maribor
EuroCHRIE University Challenge 2023 was special for us because it included international students from all over the world and a diverse competitive set. The competition was intensive, interesting and very educative.
The learning curve was enormous. We enjoyed speaking in foreign languages and every research-work- assignment put in front of us. It was pleasant speaking with Ms Heidi Anaya, Head of Education, who was polite and supportive person at this event. This competition provided us with HBA Certificate, new knowledge and a desire for further studies and future careers. The global event was a blast and we would recommend this experience to all hospitality students.
- Team Hotel Ambros:
- Petra Brenk
- Nika Zgazivoda
- Matic Neuvirt
- Doroteja Vehovar
Mentor: Mitja Petelin
Stenden University (South Africa)
The EuroCHRIE Challenge was an amazing opportunity for us to broaden our knowledge in what it takes to run a hotel. The challenge was run over six weeks. To gain a better understanding into the operations of the hotel there were four webinars that we attended which provided learning material that would be beneficial in allowing us to pass the business acumen exam we would take in the last week.
During four of the six weeks, we were tasked to run a hotel. This was a big challenge as it tested us on our knowledge of room rates, marketing strategies as well as which distribution channels would work best to achieve the best possible outcome for our hotel.
We would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to Heidi for all her help during these six weeks and ensuring we were prepared for the exam.
- Joanne Ferguson
- Hannah Hodgson
- Erin Gait
- René Beukes
Instructor Lead: Judy Elliott
Thomas More University of Applied Sciences
The hotel simulation was a unique way to experience the main decision areas concerned with running a hotel. In addition, the Hotel Business Acumen modules were a great preparation toward each quarter, and with the knowledge we gained from them, we were able to make the right decisions for our hotel.
Overall, it was a very valuable and fun experience to use and discover the simulation with all its features and participate in the weekly online Q&A sessions. We feel that the knowledge we’ve gained will be useful to us in the future.
- Dafne Kiebooms
- Stella Martinez Hald
- Sunday Famurewa
- Dana Khan
Instructor Lead: Elisabeth Uvin
Team Hotel Bustani
Our EuroCHRIE 2023 University Challenge experience was a roller coaster. The team’s zeal was high from week one and remained so, even after a major setback from Q1 results. After the close of the competition, we discussed the outcome, and the sentiment was shared; the opportunity to put into practise what we have learnt has been invaluable. The competition gave us insight on how general management teams function and the incredible pressure they are under to perform well. We can confirm revenue management is no meagre feat.
Many thanks to Heidi Anaya of Russell Partnership Technology for her guidance throughout the EuroCHRIE Challenge in running the weekly web conferences. We offer a big thank you to Philip Okombo, the Lead Instructor of our Team Hotel Bustani supported by Videar Kwoba and Pauline Thumbi, all of Strathmore University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality, for their support.
Congratulations to University of Rijeka on winning the EuroCHRIE University Challenge 2023 and the other teams on a stellar performance. It has been a pleasure competing!
In memory of the late Dr Lucy Gikonyo, who was until her untimely demise, the Leader Instructor for Strathmore’s team to EuroCHRIE Challenge competitions in the past years.
- Samwel Gicheru Muchiri
- Cheruiyot Jedida Chepkemoi
- Annette Kiboi
- Opiyo Maria Bakhita
Instructor Lead: Philip Okombo
Supported by: Videar Kwoba & Pauline Thumbi
FHWien der WKW
The challenge gave us an exhilarating opportunity to partake in a simulated international competition while holding a prominent role at a hotel.
This experience unveiled that success depends on various factors and even minor adjustments can significantly influence the competition. Furthermore, collaborating as a team to implement strategic measures for the seamless operation of the business was essential for us, as our decisions were interconnected with those of the other hotels. It was an exceptional chance to apply the acquired knowledge from our university studies and further gain practical skills for our future career paths.
- Andrea Greimel
- Christin Gerstorfer
- Timea Fazekas
- Maria Freiberger
Instructor Lead: Florian Aubke
University College of Northern Denmark
Taking part in this year’s EuroCHRIE University Challenge 2023 has been an exceptionally educating experience for all of us. The weekly modules and web conferences provided to us enriched us with a deeper insight and knowledge regarding hotel and revenue management, which we were able to put to use through a simulation game.
Becoming the ‘management team’ of our very own virtual hotel proved to be both challenging and educational at the same time. The simulation game provided us with real-life scenarios, financial reports and a wide variety of options and decision to make through the four cycles, which – alongside the fierce competition – pushed us to take a more holistic approach to our strategies and re-think and reflect on every decision we made.
On behalf of Team UCN, we would like to thank our instructor Lone Møller Wejrum as well as EuroCHRIE, for providing us this opportunity; Heidi Anaya for her incredible knowledge and expertise; and our fellow students from around the world for the fierce competition.
- Cecilie Zacho Jørgensen
- Scott Campbell
- Asseline Jacobsen
- Emelie Elkberg
Instructor Lead: Lone Møller Wejrum
Hotel Management School NHL Stenden
Participating in a revenue management simulation competition was a complete learning experience. We came in second place in our competitive set and also had the ability to achieve a certificate to add to our CVs. Therefore, we were also able to participate in learning modules, all while communicating with an international community.
Heidi Anaya, who was our facilitator, gave relevant advice and web conferences allowed us to enhance our knowledge of revenue management and about different nationalities. It was nice to gain experience in a simulated hotel environment to understand how different elements work that can affect revenue management techniques. Heidi created a welcoming, hospitable and open environment where we were free to ask questions and learn.
- Lukas Bergman
- Daniël Oudman
- Meghan Harris
- Emma Fikkert
Instructor Lead: Joke Tasma
Boma International Hospitality College
Nyeera Kendi Mumo, Final year student
The EuroCHRIE challenge was a valuable experience for us Boma students who are interested in pursuing careers in hospitality and tourism. It provides us with an opportunity to apply our classroom knowledge to a real-world scenario, while also developing important skills such as teamwork and critical thinking.
Brenda Carren Achieng’, Final year student
Participating in the EuroCHRIE Challenge was a remarkable experience for our team. It was a unique opportunity to demonstrate our hospitality management skills, running a hotel simulation as a general manager would in real-life situations. Throughout the competition, we had to think on our feet, make prompt and effective decisions to ensure that our hotel guests were satisfied, and our team performed at its best. It was an exciting journey, and we developed a strong sense of teamwork, collaboration, and communication, which was crucial in managing the hotel effectively. Moreover, the competition brought together hospitality management students from different parts of the world, providing a platform to learn from each other, share ideas, and gain a global perspective of the industry. We were able to learn new techniques and approaches, which broadened our knowledge and understanding of the hospitality sector.
Overall, the EuroCHRIE Challenge was an unforgettable experience that allowed us to showcase our skills, represent our school and continent, and make new connections with fellow students. We feel proud of what we accomplished as a team, and we are grateful for the opportunity to participate in this competition.
Lindsey Akule, Final year student
The EuroCHRIE challenge experience was definitely the best 4 weeks hands on learning approach we have experienced in our journey as upcoming hoteliers.
The challenges exposed us to the day-to-day life of a 21st century hotel manager while also strengthening our ability to work as a team. The experience also enabled us to apply what we have learnt in our time at BIHC.
We would like to thank our instructor Mr Simon Kasyema for guiding us through the competition and Heidi for the career driving advice she gave us in the course of the competition and finally Russell Partnership Technology for organising the competition
Ayman Iqbal, Final year student
The EuroCHRIE challenge has been an incredible learning experience. It gave us a new perspective on how much work goes into running a hotel, and it also showed us just how crucial teamwork is to us as individuals and as a hotel.
- Nyeera Kendi Mumo
- Linsey Akule
- Ayman Sameer Iqbal
- Brenda Carren Achieng’
Instructor Lead: Simon Kasyema
Hotel Management School Maastricht
We, Rutger, Elio and Daniël, participated in the competition “the EuroCHRIE Challenge” of Russell Partnership Technology. We also succeeded to achieve the HBA certificate. We enjoyed the online course which was educational and relevant to our profession. We started very eager on the competition and put time and effort in it, paired with sometimes heated discussions on our strategy and decisions. With some bad luck in the first quarter we had a false start but we managed with a good strategy to end third in the competition. We would like to thank Heidi Anaya and Russell Partnership Technology for this opportunity.
- Elio Nieuwland
- Daniël Groot Koerkamp
- Rutger Hoekman
Instructor Lead: Luc Houben