Emerald Forest: Online Hotel Business Simulation

Participants' develop their entrepreneurial, collaboration and communication skills by engaging each other in a virtual, internet-based simulation game that models the management of a hotel business. This is set in an interactive environment that facilitates guest lectures, group dialogues and team presentations and requires spontaneity, adaptability and efficient time management. 

The game combines virtual and real-life components. Teams of university students and young professionals compete for profits and creativity points via an online platform coordinated by NHTV Breda and supported by experienced coaches from Karlshochschule International University and its partner universities. Tasks include developing a strategy for the hotel, preparing a trade fair, analyzing the competition, responding to crisis, generating press releases, developing promotional material and advertising the hotel using social media, as well as, making financial decisions that will contribute to profit maximization.

<strong>Tom Green</strong> <br />international@karlshochschule.de <br/>Phone +49 721 48095 340 <br/>Fax +49 721 48095 101

Emerald Forest at the Karlshochschule 2018

Emerald Forest at the Karlshochschule 2017

Emerald Forest at the Karlshochschule 2016

Emerald Forest at the Karlshochschule 2012

Felix Fromhage - Alumnus International Tourism Management

"Emerald Forest is a great introduction to the complex world of management. Issues of company problems, management failures and mismanagement appear frequently in the media and students often do not realise why or how errors arise, apparently obvious affairs can be overlooked or trivial matters become inflated into major crises. This simulation game is designed to make all those things tangible – and I think it succeeds tremendously. Piece by piece the participants learn how individual business areas are inter-connected and how 'thinking outside the box' is often necessary to deal with a particular issue successfully."

Emerald Forest in pictures


Rene Arvola - Tallin University of Technology, Lecturer & Chair of Marketing

"I think that Emerald Forest Hotel is so realistic that I am not sure whether we can call it a simulation. The student teams have not just to decide but also to perform as actual hotel managers. Simulation is demanding in many ways: planning their activities, handling team work in international teams, managing with tight deadlines, lacking sleep and last but not least, being creative."

What we offer?

  • Exciting, fast-paced and intense hotel management simulation project
  • Feels like real business with the benefits of a coached environment
  • Boosts interdisciplinary competencies by integration of business administration and soft-skills
  • Provides critical approach to understanding the hotel industry through notions of ethics and sustainability
  • Focus on both innovation and team-based collaboration
  • International setting to develop intercultural skills
  • Completely in English
  • Use of social media and blended learning
  • Win (for) the next generation by linking professional and university education

Desmond Wee - Karlshochschule, former Head of Degree Program International Tourism Management

"Emerald Forest is an online business simulation platform in which diverse teams compete to set up a hotel. However, it is different from the usual fanfare because of its interactive components: hotel teams have to market their hotel, prepare for a trade show, engage in PR campaigns and deal with crises. Most importantly, they learn that it is not always easy working in teams, meeting tight deadlines and dealing with massive amounts of information and different directives from various sources. What we find is that for this rather intense, 5-day simulation in-situ, students become a part of the hotel they have set up. They embody their hotel and develop a sense of ownership amidst themselves and collectively as a group. Hence the biggest take-away is more than time management and team building skills, but an experience about learning about the self and the world around."

Participants will ...

  • Develop their leadership and management skills
  • Advance their intercultural and social competence
  • Explore their creative potential
  • Have fun learning and expand their international network
  • Gain 3 ECTS credits