A team of three RMIT Vietnam students has reached the finals of the Accor Hotels “Take Off! 2017” competition.
They join four other teams in the final round after going up against 185 groups from around the world.
The teams had to create a project for Accor’s new Jo & Joe hospitality line. The properties aren’t considered a hostel or a hotel, but are designed to facilitate interactions between young locals and travellers.
Luu Thai Quang Khai, one of the team members, explained that the target audience was millennials. “They have a playground and a lot of tools so what they wanted us to do is make this place special because it gathers locals and travellers, so they want us to think of activities or decorations that can connect those people,” he shared.
Khai, along with teammates Nguyen Thi Truc Van and Dam Hanh Tam, came up with a concept called Paint to Build.
“After seeing the website we saw that they had playing, they had cooking, but there wasn’t much about art,” Khai says.
“So we thought we could create art activities for people to connect because, to us, painting is very fun.”
The concept creates a space at Jo & Joe where guests can paint, and if they don’t know how to, a local art coach will guide them.
“After things are painted, the most beautiful ones will be exhibited in the hotel,” Khai says. “It’s a decoration and kind of an interactive art gallery for people to come and enjoy. This way, millennials will feel like they are respected and valued.”
Narumon Sriratanaviriyakul, a lecturer in Business IT and Logistics, shares that eight teams from RMIT entered the competition. “We helped to facilitate, explaining to them what the rules are and coordinating with Accor to answer any questions they had,” she says.
“We coordinated with design lecturers to get feedback and perspective on what the students had done.” The University also provided a lecture on video production to the teams which made it to the second round.
Khai shares that his team was elated when the finalists were announced. “It was midnight and we got a call, and we went crazy,” he said. “We didn’t believe it. The top five in the world was something we couldn’t even believe.”
The team will travel to Paris on 14 June for the final round of competition, set to take place over three days.
The RMIT Vietnam finalists are excited for the next step. “I’m hoping there are more challenges because I really like my team,” Khai said. “Of course I want to learn about how people from developed countries develop their business and work.”
He put the group’s success down to their strong bond. “I’d like to say that the thing which made us go this far is the chemistry among our members. I love my teammates.”
Story: Michael Tatarski