Earlier this week on February 5, 2012, 50 high school students from 10 high schools in Japan and Korea participated in the final round of the Travel and Tourism Business Program (TTBiz) Competition via Cisco TelePresence.
TTBiz is an educational program offered by Junior Achievement, an international non-governmental organisation (NGO), and Accenture that provides high school students around the world with the opportunity to learn and demonstrate global business and leadership skills in the travel and tourism industry.
The competition involved Korean and Japanese high school students teaming up to research, discuss and create travel proposals on “how to increase the number of Korean travelers to Japan.” This topic, which focused on promoting the Japanese tourism industry by attracting more Korean visitors to Japan, is aimed at helping tourism in Japan which has been greatly impacted by last year’s devastating earthquake and tsunami. Representatives of the Japan National Tourism Organization participated in the program as judges.
To provide an engaging environment for real-time dialogue and information sharing in the final competition, as the technology sponsor of TTBiz, Cisco provided its TelePresence and WebEx solutions to the high school students.
Cisco collaboration solutions blur geographical boundaries
Starting in August 2011, the Korean and Japanese high school students organized into five teams and began collaborating on their travel proposals by suggesting ideas and exchanging documents via Facebook and email to create the most compelling tourist program for a visit to Japan.
As the date for the final presentations neared, TTBiz organizers wondered “how can we help students from Korea and Japan make a real-time presentations seamlessly regardless of their physical location? Facebook and email were helpful for sharing documents and ideas, but making a presentation before judges required a different solution.”
Cisco’s Seoul, Korea and Tokyo, Japan Offices were pleased to provide a solution by hosting the Korean and Japanese students as they presented their travel proposals in English to the TTBiz judges using TelePresence and WebEx for document sharing.
Cisco TelePresence not only delivered the usual audio and video, but also the students’ facial expressions, gestures and tone of voice very vividly, making the judges and students feel as though they were all sitting at the same meeting room table. Judges asked pointed questions and provided feedback and comments on each presentation, making the competition more intense. Presentations were also relayed to the Observer Room set up in each office through Cisco WebEx, bringing high excitement to the other contenders and TTBiz mentors who were awaiting their turn to present in front of the judges.
Many memorable moments, including when students presented before their peers and judges and when the winning students were awarded prizes and shared their exuberant feelings when giving their acceptance speeches, were all captured through Cisco TelePresence and WebEx. It was a very moving experience for all involved in helping to enable the creation of these rich experience and memories for the students.
To see the photos from the final competition – click here for the Cisco Korea Blog.
The high schools participating in TTBiz were:
- From Japan: Waseda University Senior High School, Seiko Gakuin High School, Ichihara Chuo High School, Senzoku Gakuen High School, Tamagawa Academy
- From Korea: Korean Minjok Leadership Academy, Hankuk Academy of Foreign Studies #1, Daewon Foreign Language High School, Hanyoung Foreign Language High School, Hankuk Academy of Foreign Studies #4
The winning team was awarded the enjoyment of the travel plan they proposed. In this NHK TV News Show (Japan’s leading broadcasting company), you’ll hear directly from a representative from the winning team.
Click here to view the NHK TV News Broadcast story of the TTBiz completion and interview with the winning team.
And as I know you’re curious – the winning travel plan had a “Cupid” theme, was based broadly on the famous Japanese novel The Tale of Genji, and involved a travel itinerary of romantic spots and blind dates. Students from Korea’s Yongin Foreign Language High School and Japan’s Seiko Gakuin High School were on the winning team.