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University System of Maryland Hagerstown

Hospitality and tourism students chosen to pitch ideas in "Crab Tank" competition

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HAGERSTOWN-Hospitality and tourism management (HTM) students enrolled in the University of Maryland Eastern Shore's (UMES) program offered at the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown (USMH) earned the chance to pitch their idea to increase yourism in the Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit's (MTTS) "Crab Tank" pitch competition.

Hannah Haught and Angela Shelley submitted their idea to create a girls' getaway to increase tourism in Washington County by featuring women-owned businesses in honor of the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote. They were chosen to present their pitch to the "Big Crabs" during the summit, which will be held at Rocky Gap Resort in Cumberland, MD, November 6 through 8.

"I am so proud of how hard Hannah and Angela worked on their pitch," said Julie Bellemare, program director for the HTM program at USMH. "They involved all that tourism encompasses including history and economics and put together a really good themed idea," she explained. "Now they get to share it with influential members of the tourism community!"

Students will have a further opportunity to hone their pitch-making chops as they argue for a faculty submission that was also chosen to be presented during the competition. The faculty pitched the creation of virtual reality short films of Maryland attractions and events to be shown at high-traffic venues such as the Maryland State Fair and travel centers.

In addition to participating in the competition, students attending the MTTS will have the opportunity to network with members of the industry and hear expert speakers on industry trends, economics of tourism, guest services and leadership.

The UMES HTM program launced at USMH this fall. It provides students with relevant education to make an impact in the industry immediately upon graduation.

USMH is a regional higher education center located in downtown Hagerstown where students may choose from more than 20 programs of study offered by five Maryland universities to complete a bachelor's degree or earn a master's or doctoral degree.