Media release from AccorHotels Queenstown

One lucky Queenstown student has been granted a scholarship to give her the ultimate kickstart in New Zealand’s booming tourism industry.

Wakatipu High School (WHS) student Harriet Dennison, 18, will study a Diploma in Hospitality Management at the award-winning Queenstown Resort College (QRC), thanks to an inaugural partnership between four Queenstown hotels and the college.

The scholarship covers fifty percent of tuition fees for the two-year course and includes a guaranteed paid internship placement at one of AccorHotels’ market-leading Queenstown properties.

The four properties driving this scholarship are Hotel St Moritz, Novotel Queenstown, Sofitel Queenstown and Mercure Queenstown Resort.

Hotel St Moritz General Manager Jo Finnigan presented the scholarship at the high school’s Senior Prizegiving on Thursday afternoon (November 2 2017).

A delighted Harriet said it was “quite incredible” to receive the scholarship.

“I’m very excited to be able to gain further knowledge in the tourism industry through QRC, especially here in Queenstown, my home town,” she said.

“I’m thrilled to have received this scholarship because AccorHotels is such a well-known global brand, and I’m looking forward to learning here in the environment that QRC provides.”

The scholarship was a collective vision from AccorHotels and QRC to open up the world of hotel business to Queenstown students, exposing them to a compelling career path in tourism with the option to travel worldwide.

Students applied for the grant by submitting responses to several questions, including an inventive 100-word response to “the secret of their success if they ran a world-renowned Queenstown hotel in 2028”.

Harriet’s ‘thinking outside the box’ approach led her to create a 100-word mind-map to visually explain her success, outlining every element of running a successful hotel including facilities, customer experience and management.

She also came up with a catchy motto “we deliver what you want, before you know it”.

Hotel St Moritz General Manager Jo Finnigan particularly loved Harriet’s creative application.

“It’s fantastic to see the next generation excited about a career in New Zealand’s dynamic hospitality and tourism industries,” she said.

“Harriet came across as a natural leader and I look forward to watching her career unfold.

“I’m hopeful this inaugural scholarship inspires a pipeline of high school students in the future.”

Queenstown Resort College Chief Executive Charlie Phillips said the scholarship was a “great opportunity” for Harriet to work within New Zealand’s largest export industry.

“Gaining a recognised qualification in the tourism and hospitality sector provides a competitive advantage when it comes to maximising employment opportunities,” he said.

“We look forward to welcoming Harriet to QRC early next year.”

Harriet will begin her Diploma in Hospitality Management at Queenstown Resort College in January 2018.

Picture caption:

1/ Tourism kickstart – Queenstown Resort College Chief Executive Charlie Phillips (L) and Hotel St Moritz General Manager Jo Finnigan (R) presented a tourism scholarship to Harriet Dennison