Deadline for submissions:
APRIL 3, 2017 at 11:59pm EST

University Students

Do you have what it takes to develop a unique hotel experience for future travellers?



The Lowdown for Students

The Future of the Hotel Industry is in Your Hands

In 2035, what will be important is a hotel’s capacity to differentiate itself from the competition. While an increasing number of travellers will seek authentic and experience-based travel, the hotel of the future will need to appeal to both the young and the old, considering that the average traveller demographic is changing. “One in every five visitors to Canada is under age 24, reflecting the desire of Gen Y to see the world,” says a Destination Canada corporate plan summary. Retiring baby boomers are also taking advantage of their accumulated wealth and free time to travel.”

Here’s where you come in.

Design a new hotel brand for future Canadian development.

  • Do you know what it would take to provide an amazing and unique hotel experience for future travellers?
  • Would you make the experience more tech-saavy?
  • How about introducing a sleeker design?
  • Would you change the room features?
  • How about the front lobby?

If you have an original hotel concept in mind, it’s your chance to compete in the #hotelNEXT competition! Beginning in January 2017, you and your Team can enter the Second Annual Canadian Hotel Competition for Young Developers called #hotelNEXT. The top three Teams will be flown out in May, all expenses paid, to the Canadian Hotel Investment Conference.

You and your Team will compete *on stage* with the exclusive chance to WOW a panel of Canadian hotel investors and owners with your #hotelNEXT concept!

1ST PRIZE = $5,000!
2ND PRIZE = $3,000!
3RD PRIZE = $2,000!

What it takes to win

  • Be creative and original.
    • Is it a truly out-of-the-box concept? Has this offering or solution ever been introduced before?
    • Can the Team easily describe why this concept is not like any other?
    • Are the points of differentiation relevant to the targeted guests?
  • Be financially viable and feasible.
    • Have the projected income statements been presented accurately?
    • Are they presented five fiscal years out?
    • Is there integrity in the numbers, meaning is the hotel financially viable?
    • Is there a return on investment?
    • How accurately are the competitors and target market identified?

6 Steps to Win!

Step #1
Grab a team

Step #2
Brainwave your vision

Step #3
Criteria to win!

Step #4
Contact a Mentor

Step #5
Fill out this form

Step #6
Submit your entry
Deadline April 15, 2016

STEP 1: Grab a Team!

  • There is a maximum of 4 students per Team.
  • Students must be attending a Canadian University in any discipline at the undergrad level. Sorry Master students are not permitted to enter.
  • Although it would be great if at least one Team member was enrolled in a hotel, hospitality, or tourism program from a Canadian University, it is not mandatory.
  • Multiple Teams are allowed from one Canadian University.
  • We encourage interdisciplinary Teams! Team members can be from the same or different Canadian Universities.

STEP 2: Brainwave your vision for your new hotel.

Using the case study approach, design a new hotel brand for future Canadian development and present a financially viable business case.

Take note of the criteria:

  • Describe your hotel idea in less than 500 words.
  • Brand: What’s the name? Tagline? Design the logo. What inspired the idea?
  • Decide on the Canadian city for your flagship hotel. Why did you pick that location?
  • What’s the marketing plan? How would you promote the concept to consumers?
  • What innovative features are in the hotel rooms, lobby, or property?
  • What amazing services will your hotel offer?
  • Present a business case with financial projections including construction costs and showing a return on investment.


Examine the scorecard, this is the criteria your hotel concept will be judged on:


STEP 4: Contact a Mentor

We have gone out to the industry and asked a group of people to help with your project.  Feel free to contact one, or all to help the Team. We have specifically chosen these mentors because they are kind, friendly, approachable people who want to help you out! Don’t underestimate this fantastic resource of industry professionals! Click here to see who our Mentors are!

STEP 5: Fill out this form.

  • Get a University professor to sign off on your project. To qualify, each Team’s project submission must receive an endorsement by a University Professor before it can be entered into the contest.

STEP 6: How to Submit.

Read these steps carefully:

  • Fill out form in step 5, scan it and label with your TEAM NAME + hotelNEXT
  • Go to Dropbox  and create a folder labelled with your TEAM NAME + hotelNEXT
  • Upload your completed form that is signed by a University prof
  • Upload your full presentation to Dropbox in any one of these formats and note the following size restrictions;
    • if sending WORD document/ PDF, no more than 25 pages
    • if sending a POWERPOINT or PREZZIE, no more than 25 slides
  • Share your dropbox folder via email to Enney Hoang by MONDAY, APRIL 3, 2017 at 11:59pm EST.

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  • On April 10, 2017, a Selection Committee will meet and review all submissions.
  • The top 3 projects will be selected and Team members will be contacted on April 17, 2017 by Big Picture Conferences.
  • Each Team member will have an all-expense paid trip to Toronto where they will present their project in front of delegates attending the Canadian Hotel Investment Conference (MAY 16, 2017).


On May 16, 2017, the top 3 Teams will present on stage at the Canadian Hotel Investment Conference!

  • Each Team will have 15 minutes to present on stage in front of the Judging Panel.
  • Voting by the Judges and the audience will take place after each presentation.
  • At the end of the session, our MC, will bring the 3 Teams on stage and announce the winning project. Get ready for a photo-op!

Submit your Entry via Dropbox

Canadian Hotel Investment Conference


The Canadian Hotel Investment Conference (CHIC) is owned and operated by Big Picture Conferences (BPC). The annual event attracts investors, hotel owners, senior development executives from Canada's $16.7 billion lodging industry representing 8,500 hotels, motels and resorts. Delegates and top industry leaders discuss ever-evolving Canadian hotel landscape and upcoming trends, including providing service to Millennials and next generation travellers.

Big-Picture-Conferences Big Picture Conferences (BPC) is dedicated to connecting people through the synergistic production of annual conferences and networking events for the Canadian hospitality industry. BPC delivers 'turnkey' events by developing program content, organizing quality speakers, coordinating marketing services while managing venue arrangements, registrations and finances.

©2017 #hotelNEXT is owned and operated by Big Picture Conferences.