Assistant Professors of Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) Brian Aday and Andrew Walls took 24 HTM students to New York City for five days in November 2015. The students participated in a wide variety of activities during their time in the Big Apple. The group attended the Hotel Experience (formerly the International Hotel, Motel, and Restaurant Show) at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. At the Hotel Experience, students were able to experience North America’s largest trade event for hotel and foodservice companies. Additionally, as part of the Hotel Experience, the group also attended the Boutique Design New York (BDNY), a trade fair tailored to hotel and restaurant design. In total, the Hotel Experience and BDNY exposed the students to over 900 exhibitors and 18,000 industry professionals.
As part of the trip, the students were given a front and back of the house tour of the world famous Plaza Hotel in New York. After the tour, the students took part in an hour-long open-ended Q&A session with directors from 10 divisions within the hotel, including the hotel general manager. The information provided to the students was incredible and greatly attributed to their understanding of the luxury hotel market. The trip participants also partook in a walking food tour of Greenwich Village. During the food tour, the students gained a wide variety of culinary knowledge and a better understanding of the general histories of NYC and Greenwich Village. The food tour included 10 tastings, ranging from authentic NYC pizza to olive oil to cannoli. Overall, many students said this trip was one of their best experiences as an SF State HTM student. Professor Aday has plans to offer the trip each November.