HVS Helps Organize Recent Ecole hotelière de Lausanne Strategy Challenge

Students at Ecole hotelière de Lausanne provide interesting insight into the future of Europe’s shared ownership industry to a panel of judges, including Philip Bacon of HVS Madrid.

Madrid, November 29, 2010:  Philip Bacon, managing director of HVS Madrid, was asked by Ecole hotelière de Lausanne (EHL) to help organize this year’s Strategy Challenge, which was held on November 3, 2010. Approximately 150 students took part in forecasting the future of timeshare, branded residences, and fractional ownership (including private residence and destination clubs), for the Challenge, which centered on the theme of “The Future of the Shared Ownership Industry in Europe.”

Earlier this fall, Bacon presented an overview of shared ownership business models to the group of final-year students. Then, on November 3rd, he and six other industry experts were involved in evaluating written reports and oral presentations. The judges also conducted a rigorous question and answer session with the students about their respective forecasts.

The judges included Wilhelm Froon, CEO of the Resort Agency; Dimitri Manikis, SVP Business Development of RCI; Richard McIntosh, Managing Director of Hilton Grand Vacations Club, EMEA; Christophe Piffaretti, Founder and CEO of Residencium; Preben Vestdam, President of Valhalla Associates; and Stephen Wise, Founder and Chairman of The Hideaways Club.

The student groups reported on their chosen subjects, either in French or in English, and displayed an impressive depth of understanding – taking into account that they had only five weeks to prepare their reports and meet the challenge.

“Our panel of judges selected the best management reports in both languages,” explains Bacon. “Several of the winning reports identified the fact that the industry has not yet fully embraced the online world and that changes are needed on both the property and marketing sides to target Generations X and Y. Other value drivers – including shorter vacation periods, an increased desire for flexibility, and the need for sustainable development – were important findings according to the top teams.”

The best teams are now eligible to compete to represent EHL at the 4th annual Strategy Challenge as part of the International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin, in March 2011. These teams must now create an innovative, feasible, and profitable shared ownership business model and project concept that fits the team’s forecasts for the future of the industry. The team selected to go to Berlin will compete against teams from other European hotel schools.

Philip Bacon
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