Imagine you’re heading to a city, whether for leisure or pleasure. You tap an app or go to a website, enter the destination and a completely personalized itinerary is created for you. Accommodation, travel and activities, all tailored to your preferences and ready to book. Sound good? Les Roches Bachelor’s students have been helping to define the tourism platform through their latest Spark academic project.
Les Roches has brought together Swiss IT company ELCA Informatique SA and Crans-Montana Tourism & Congress to consider the possibility of a revolutionary booking platform. The hypothetical future goal of the platform: to provide a new tourism experience centralizing all offers of a given region in one single solution. The benefit: a visitor can save time and energy by planning and booking personalized trips all through one platform.
…Spark provides a collaborative platform to imagine and incubate innovative and disruptive models.
“We’re working jointly with Spark on an interesting and innovative initiative”, says Pascal Pagny, Client Partner at ELCA Informatique. “Les Roches students are perfectly positioned to understand the market, brainstorm, and develop a common vision around the Tourism Digital Companion of the future. In the hospitality domain, Les Roches is without doubt a key partner and Spark provides a collaborative platform to imagine and incubate innovative and disruptive models.”
…the market is becoming more and more demanding for hyper-personalized experiences for guests and users.
For the project, Bachelor’s students were tasked with creating and presenting 10 innovative business cases for the solution, taking into account various stakeholder needs. The real-world nature of the work gave them first hand experience of how a hospitality consultancy works. And for Bachelor’s student, Charlie Higginbottom, it’s only a matter of time until ideas such as the ones they presented become a reality.
“I see a broad adoption by the hospitality industry of some of the tech solutions that we provided in our final project. This is because the market is becoming more and more demanding for hyper-personalized experiences for guests and users. We worked with ELCA to really streamline the user experience and to provide solutions that they might implement for guests and tourists.”
Serving guests better
Capturing data and utilizing it intelligently is a key success factor in the modern world of hospitality. And for tourist destinations in particular, there is a real opportunity for different businesses to be part of one central data hub. Speaking about the commercial benefits of the project, Bruno Huggler, Director of Crans-Montana Tourism & Congress, said: “We are a destination with many different players, both private and public. The big challenge is to gather customer insights and get the big picture. We want to know what guests need so we can serve them better with specific experiences at the right moment, pre-stay, during stay and post stay.
… you’re actually innovating and solving problems…
Spark academic projects typify the Swiss experiential educational approach, placing students in a real industry environment that deepens learning and strengthens confidence, as LRCM Senior Lecturer, Bilal Hassan explains: “The advantages of working on a real-life innovation project is that you are doing something new. It’s not a case study on something that‘s already happened, you’re actually innovating and solving problems.
“For this project, the students had to convince the “partners” and sell their ideas to them. Together with Crans Montana Tourism and ELCA Informatique, we will select which ideas and business cases we would like to investigate and research further, and the students will provide a solution which could be evaluated for an implementation.. The journey from creation to modification and finally selling the idea presented learning that you simply cannot get from a book, you have to do it.”
Prepared for a business career
With the ideation phase of the project complete and the 10 proposals under review, the Bachelor’s students, ELCA and Crans-Montana Tourism & Congress have all gained from the collaboration. “Working with students is definitely a very rewarding experience”, says Pascal. “I particularly appreciated their contribution and willingness to listen, to challenge their own understanding and vision, and toadapt to the various stakeholders. These competencies are for sure important to prepare them for the business challenges they will face in their future careers.”
Discover more Spark academic projects below and stay tuned for our next one with Inside Reality, creators of immersive, online virtual reality spaces.