On October 27th, 2013, the 7th annual LinkBC Student Case Competition kicked off the Connect Trade Show & Conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre, with a record 16 teams demonstrating leadership and business skills as they presented solutions to 2 topical case studies.

The first case, sponsored by Destination BC and Helijet, focused on the subject of tourism marketing.Teams in this category were asked to explain how Helijet could successfully steward loyal customers by rolling out a rewards card program.

The second case, sponsored by the British Columbia Hotel Association and Coast Hotels & Resorts, centred on the subject of hotel human resources.Teams were informed that BC will be facing a tourism sector labour shortage of 100,000 jobs by 2020 and asked to put together a plan to effectively recruit top prospects to Coast Hotels.

Teams represented tourism and hospitality programs from Okanagan College, Capilano University, Douglas College, Selkirk College, Thompson Rivers University, Vancouver Community College, Vancouver Island University, Royal Roads University, and Canadian Tourism College.

Students presented their business cases to a panel of industry judges that included Jay Minter (Helijet), Tony Loughran (BC Ministry of Advanced Education), Keith Baker (go2), Judy Adams (Coast Hotels & Resorts), Debbie Yule (go2) and Terry Hood (North Shore Project Leadership).

The winning teams were announced at Connect’s Industry Lunch on Oct. 28th, which was hosted by the Greater Vancouver Hotel Association’s Earl Wilde and featured special guest Shirley Bond – BC Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training. Okanagan College’s degree and diploma teams swept the tourism marketing category while Vancouver Community College’s degree and Thompson Rivers University Resort & Hospitality Management diploma teams won in the hotel hr section. Each winning team took home a $500 prize and Okanagan College’s Degree Team, who achieved the highest overall score, also received 4 sightseeing trips courtesy of Helijet.