Under the guidance of Professor Gregg Rockett, lecturer in Management and Tourism Studies, students enrolled in the spring 2021 TSTD 6221 Hospitality Market Analysis course developed co-branding recommendations in the growing health and wellness tourism market segment for Marriott International’s senior director of Global Enterprise Partnerships, Maia Daniels.
Student teams tackled the challenge in two phases. First, in undertaking extensive market research as related to region and brand positioning for four distinct Marriott brands. Utilizing their phase one research, teams then identified co-branding opportunities that would be consistent with current brand positioning and would further elevate the brand in distinct markets for health and wellness tourism. When asked about the opportunity to work with Ms. Daniels, Prof. Rockett stated, “This was an extraordinary project that likely may be unprecedented, in that the students researched global trends and partnership opportunities in the emerging market for health and wellness tourism. The sponsor, Maia Daniels, was fully engaged with the students and very impressed with the creative output.”
Through their participation, students were able to broaden their skills and knowledge. MA Tourism candidate Melina Economos (‘22) noted, “This course stretched my academic bandwidth further than I thought possible. I learned how to navigate my own emotions in a more professional way and how to lead a team more effectively. I also learned how to let new leaders emerge when it is time. I’ve learned how to let go of control and admit when I needed help. These are all really big steps for me, both professionally and personally... there is little else that has helped me excel so quickly, both inwardly and in a community of peers.”
At the semester’s end, Prof. Rockett noted, “The opportunity to assist Marriott in identifying global trends and partnership opportunities in the emerging market for health and wellness tourism was an extraordinarily enlightening and rewarding experience for myself and the students. Maia Daniels, could not have been more collaborative and appreciative of the students' output.”
To further support students’ professional development and research skills, Prof. Rockett co-authored two articles on hotel-online.com based on the students’ project work. The first article, “The Emerging Market for Health and Wellness Tourism,'' was authored by Prof. Rockett and Samantha Amus with contributing research from Arianna Fisher, Yuting Ni and Jiahui Lin. The second article, “The Emerging Market for Health and Wellness Tourism - Part II,” was authored by Prof. Rockett, Melina Economos and Dave Nitkiewicz with contributing research from Manahil Alkhatrawi, Emily Baxter, Hiroshi Kandori, Aswathi Krishnan and Yusuke Tsuda.
GWSB faculty interested in incorporating projects into their classes can contact Sarah LaRosa, Assistant Director of Global & Experiential Education at [email protected] to discuss learning objectives and potential partners.