How do our students cope with sustainable tourism practices? 2
E5C took place on 12 November 2021. Photo: Weltweitwandern

How do our students cope with sustainable tourism practices?

Adis Krdzalic,

On Friday, 12 November 2021, students from the Bachelor’s degree programme “International Management” and the Global Business Program at FH JOANNEUM had the chance to participate in the E5C – Entrepreneurial and Cross-Cultural Competences Case Challenge.

The Institute of International Management enables knowledge transfer between theory and practice and focusses on topics that are of importance on the global level. Sustainable tourism served as such a topic this year. 90 students from the Bachelor's degree programme “International Management” and the Global Business Program, got the opportunity to support two Austrian companies, while boosting their own entrepreneurial and cross-cultural skills in a student case challenge. The challenge was coordinated by Bojan Jovanovski and Rupert Beinhauer, who together with the incoming professor Nimisha Singh from the Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH) served as consultants to the contestants. The Weltweitwandern GmbH and Hotel Seighof provided the business cases based on their actual needs and development objectives.

In two groups, a total of 15 teams competed for the best case solutions. The team of David Heidinger, Luciana Fernandez Juarez, Elias Hermann, Dado Kristi, Hannah Hayat-Dawoodi and Susanna Hermandinger won the case challenge for the company Weltweitwandern.

“The case challenge in cooperation with Weltweitwandern was a great opportunity to put everything we learned into practice and it was a valuable experience for all of us! Especially because sustainability is becoming more and more important in international tourism and management. Our group worked together on finding a perfect fitting promotion strategy for a sustainable hiking trip to Serbia.”

the “Sustainables”-team

Martina Handler, Sustainability Manager of Weltweitwandern GmbH, did not hide her enthusiasm for participating in the case challenge.

Representatives of the company Weltweitwandern.
Photo: Weltweitwandern
Representatives of the company Weltweitwandern.

“Thank you very much for the opportunity to have the students work on the sustainability, quality and promotion of our product! Our team was really impressed by the solutions of the students. Throughout the whole process the students were very motivated and proactive. Finally, we saw three presentations that included a lot of interesting and creative inputs for our Serbia tour, which we will incorporate in the coming weeks“, said Martina Handler.

In the second case, students competed for the best solutions for Hotel Seighof. The “Mountain Peak”-team comprised of Katharina Sommer, Katharina Spitaler, Jasmin Spuller, Karin Stanglauer, Danyal Talebpour and Alessandro Taula won the second case.

“It was a really interesting and cool experience to work on a real-life project in an international team for the first time.”

the “Mountain Peak”-team
Representatives of Hotel Seighof formed the jury.
Photo: Hotel Seighof
Representatives of Hotel Seighof formed the jury.

The representatives of Hotel Seighof have also been overwhelmed by the effort, devotion, and skills the students have shown. They pointed out that the hardest thing was to decide after just 120 seconds-long pitches whose project is the best. At the end, they emphasized that the project was fantastic. The hotel will definitely realize the ideas of the winning team, but also bring ideas from other groups into action as well.

By now it is clear that the joint student case challenge merging both student groups becomes a tradition at the Institute of International Management. We are looking forward to define the topic of the next edition and to see which companies will reach out to our students for support.