2010 Finalists 

The finalist teams in the inaugural Challenge each developed creative, compelling proposals for public-private alliances that benefit the tourism industry in Asia.  Teams were asked to choose a country of focus, along with the private and public sector entities participating in the partnership.

1st Place - Sustainable Micro-tourism Homestay Program in Thailand
Andrew Gendreau, Bryan Stroube and Robert Vesco (Smith School of Business)

This proposal outlines a program of sustainable cultural tourism targeted at improving the socioeconomic outcomes of low-income residents of Thailand. It consists of developing an infrastructure, including relevant processes and technology, to facilitate the operation of a scalable tourist homestay program. The program will allow entrepreneurial individuals in Thailand to systematically offer spare rooms in their existing residences to tourists on a short-term basis, and is designed to channel over 70% of revenues directly to individual hosts and their immediate local communities. Presentation Slides

2nd Place - Kulen Promtep, Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary and Ecolodge
Samiya Edwards, Naureen Kabir, Tara Nicholson and Tzyy-Ming Yeh (Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies/Wharton School of Business)

Siem Reap province, home to Angkor Wat and many of Cambodia’s famous temples, has become a very popular tourist destination over the last ten years.  However, Cambodia’s tourism route lacks the diversity that many neighboring countries offer, which has resulted in overcrowding and significant energy, garbage and pollution issues in the country’s select tourism areas.  Promoting a diversity of destinations is an essential part of any sustainable tourism program in Cambodia. The proposed PPP seeks to expand the tourist circuit to include a wildlife refuge and ecolodge in the Northern Plains of Cambodia.  The project will be located in the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary, where the Cambodian Ministry of Environment, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Marriott International, Inc./Grand Lion Group will partner to deliver an ecotourism experience fueled by economic incentive to preserve the protected wildlife area.  Presentation Slides

3rd Place - Public-Private Partnership Medical Tourism in Vietnam
Daniel Branscome, W. Nathaniel Brown, Ngan Nguyen, Alice Ntambi (Smith School of Business)

A public private partnership (PPP) for Medical Tourism in Vietnam will be formed with the goal of making Vietnam a preferred destination for medical tourism. The proposal targets Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) – Vietnamese and Chinese Traditional Medicines – as a niche area of focus. CAM is a high growth segment, an area where Vietnam excels relative to other localities, and of key interest to potential private partners who are seeking to research the properties of traditional remedies. The ultimate goal will be to construct a single facility as a base of CAM research, learning, and treatment. The PPP will be responsible for building, maintaining and operating this facility. This facility will encompass a clinic (divided into an area for locals and tourists), labs, classrooms, and a conference center.  Presentation Slides

Public-Private Partnership in Lao People's Democratic Republic
Rodney Dalton, Sangita Mehta, Arielle Samuels and Seema Setia

The major development challenges for Lao PDR involve health, education, and infrastructure. In order to address these challenges and boost tourism in Lao PDR, a plan to promote Boun That Inhang, a religious festival held in the city of Savannakhet, is proposed.  This would be executed through a public-private partnership between the Cannondale Bicycle Company and the Lao Women’s Union.  During the festival, people come together to celebrate with pageants, traditional music, sporting events, and a trade fair.  The public-private partnership would utilize the breadth of events to support sustainable tourism in Lao PDR.  The Cannondale Bicycle Company’s role in the partnership would be to invest in marketing for the festival and provide bicycles to promote cycling tours.  It would work in conjunction with the Lao Women’s Union, which would reuse bicycle parts to build weaving looms in an effort to promote the textile industry in more remote sectors of the country.  The Lao Women’s Union would also help the bicycle company promote the festival by managing and planning logistics for the trade fair.  Presentation Slides

The Vietnamese Training Institute
Dan Batlle, Amos Cruz, Sarina Gerson and Ben Lydecker

The Vietnamese Training Institute is an alliance of private sector tourism companies working in coordination with the Government of Vietnam, and the United States Agency for International Development, to create consistent professional training, sector development and job creation. The Public Private Alliance will coordinate the staff training expenses of private partners by offering a one year certificate or two year diploma to tourism professionals, creating a higher level of tourism service through the country. The training institute will operate on behalf of its private sector membership, consisting of leading companies which are significantly affected by the tourism industry. Members will elect a governing board to oversee the institute’s operations, ensuring that the training and education prepares graduates with the skills necessary to deliver services consistent with international standards. As a result of coordination, the cost of training will drop even as quality improves. The training institute will also use branding to help differentiate services offered by institute members from services provided by non-members, increasing demand and visibility of the highest quality service providers.   Presentation Slides

Two-Prong Approach to Successful Alliance in East Timor
Lynn Huynh, Tatiana Carett and Benjamin Johns

This proposal outlines a 5-pod model for a public-private partnership that would align East Timor’s development with economic interests by: teaching and training to build local capacity, developing a long term strategy for job opportunities, marketing the available resources and cultural heritage that East Timor has to offer, and partnering with technical experts to monitor and evaluate the project. This would be implemented using a two-pronged strategy: develop a training and employment program (EQUAL) and identify public and private partners to promote tourism in East Timor (MEET). EQUAL involves providing collaborative education between the National University of East Timor, the American Society for Quality (ASQ), and George Washington University School of Business – Tourism and Hospitality Management Program to develop a curriculum and online training program to build tourism skills and promote English learning among students in East Timor. MEET will then help to develop the tourist market in East Timor by partnering with Expedia, a tourism marketing company, and Exploritas, which offers packaged educational tourism and is looking to expand its clientele to include younger travelers in Asia. Finally, USAID and Global Sustainability Tourism Agency (GSTA) will be requested to provide funding support to launch EQUAL and MEET, to train students, and to offer technical expertise in monitoring and evaluation of the project at the initial stage.  Presentation Slides

The Bangladesh Sylhet District: Sustainable Tea, Sustainable Tourism
Manis Deshpande, Sean Luke, Eric Miller and Brandon Prichard

This proposal focused on the tea tourism industry in the Sylhet region of Bangladesh because of its ability to be a regional economic driver. Leveraging this potential, the team proposed the creation of a public-private alliance that will strengthen not only the tea tourism industry in the Sylhet region, but also the tea industry itself. The team's vision for making Sylhet a premier destination for tea tourism strengthens Bangladesh and its tourism industry in several ways. The once mighty Bangladeshi tea industry is declining, and within five years, Bangladesh will become a net tea importer due to greater domestic demand and increased international competition. To prevent this, the team proposed integrating the goals of the public and private sector partners by aligning Unilever’s goal of becoming a 100% sustainable tea company with the Bangladeshi Tea Board’s desire to save the country’s tea industry. Creating a public-private alliance between these two players will greatly improve the profitability of the tea industry by: a) increasing the productivity of the tea suppliers, b) strengthening the region’s global tea brand, and c) building tourism infrastructure in and around the tea suppliers. This has the potential to have a positive economic impact on the 1.6 million people currently employed by the tea sector.  Presentation Slides

Magnificant Mongolia: Ger Park
Katherine Janes, Peter Manda, Erin Nowak and Rebecca Stavros

Magnificent Mongolia is a public private partnership between the Mongolian Ministry of Infrastructure (which includes Tourism) and the international hotel chain, Kempinski Hotels S.A. The partnership will develop and build an innovative tourist resort.  The proposed tourist resort, called Ger Park, incorporates the traditional Mongolian Ger tent design modified for the luxury traveler.  The strategic goal of Magnificent Mongolia is to develop a sustainable tourism industry specifically for tourists from the United States, Germany, and Saudi Arabia which will bolster the local economy, specifically the Mongolian cashmere market. It will also strengthen the infrastructure of the capital city, Ulaanbaatar. To achieve this end, Kempinski Hotels, S.A. will develop Ger Park. The result will be improved infrastructure and services for FDI investment in an emerging democracy friendly to foreign assistance.  Presentation Slides