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MSc Management student project benefits north west travel agency

island holiday destination

04 November 2014

A north west online travel agent has received a boost thanks to students from Lancaster University Management School.

Management MSc students Hui Zhang and Chaoying Lian recently undertook an eight-week research project at eShores, a successful Rochdale-based business which specialises in luxury tailor-made holidays. The student research project was to deliver recommendations on how eShores could expand the business further offline by developing a comprehensive marketing strategy.

Gavin Lapidus, the Managing Director of eShores, said: “As an online business we are fairly confident with our internet marketing and online activities – however we wanted to grow the business offline and wanted to explore our options, as well as the associated costs and risks.”

“We found the project even more useful than we were expecting. The students gave us thorough industry data, as well as providing useful competitor analysis. They came up with various ideas of what we should consider to grow the business and suggested a two-stage plan of what they would recommend in the short term and things they would recommend to assist us in the future.

“We are currently looking into the costs and researching options that they have suggested, and we will definitely be incorporating some of their suggestions into our marketing mix.”

Hui Zhang, one of the students who carried out the research project, said: “I think that this project will definitely help me to get a job after university. Unlike other graduates we have worked with a real client in a consulting role, so we have experience that we can relate to and talk about.”

Lancaster University Management School and Rochdale Council have worked together for many years to help drive development in the North West. The research project was initiated by the Rochdale Development Agency, which suggested the benefits of collaborative work with students to eShores. The Department of Entrepreneurship, Strategy and Innovation at LUMS then liaised with eShores about the research project.

In 2014, Lancaster University Management School successfully carried out over 140 consultancy-style research projects with local businesses, the public sector and multinational companies. Jennifer Peasnell, Company Projects Manager, said: “We work hard with partners such as the Rochdale Development Agency to align the needs of businesses with the right project and in doing so help develop the skills of our students, boosting their employability.”

To find out more about LUMS Student Consultancy Research Projects, please contact Jennifer Peasnell, Company Projects Manager: studentprojects@lancaster.ac.uk or 01524 510718

Having a thorough understanding of their local businesses means that Rochdale Development Agency is able to advise on suitable packages for business support. If you are a business in the Rochdale area and would like more information please contact Carol Hopkins, Business & Investment Manager, Rochdale Development Agency C.Hopkins@investinrochdale.co.uk