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Institutional Award for The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Travel News Asia 5 November 2003

The School of Hotel and Tourism Management (HTM) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has recently been awarded "2003 ISTTE Institutional Award" in recognition of its significant contributions to tourism education.

 The latest honour was unveiled at the Annual Conference of the International Society of Travel and Tourism Educators (ISTTE), held in Rhode Island, the United States, from 16 to 18 October. PolyU has been praised for its leadership role in enhancing tourism education in Asia as well as its innovativeness in student admission, curriculum design and industry partnership programmes.

Another academic report, produced by the World Travel and Tourism Council in October, entitled "The Impact of Travel & Tourism on Jobs and the Economy: China and China Hong Kong SAR", also applauded HTM as "a large, wealthy and very strong School of Hotel and Tourism Management, which is becoming a major education centre for tourism in the region and generates some particularly good research." The report presented views and forecasts of tourism industry in Hong Kong and the mainland.

Prof. Kaye Chon, Head of HTM and a recent recipient of the 2003 FTA Hospitality Humanitarian Award (see appendix), said the double honours further underpinned Hong Kong's position as a regional tourism hub. "Seeing the importance of tourism as a pillar industry for the local economy, PolyU is committed to providing first class hospitality education for Hong Kong, the mainland and the Asia Pacific region," Prof. Chon added.

Renowned for its hospitality education, PolyU every year attracts an overwhelming number of applications for its hotel and tourism management programmes. Last year, more than 3,000 JUPAS applicants selected HTM as one of their top three choices - hitting a record high intake ratio. To ensure top quality of its students, HTM has taken the lead in inviting senior executives to join the admission interviews. In this way, industry members are given opportunity to hand-pick their future employees.

Other industry partnership programmes have also been put in place by HTM to help students put their learning to practice. One of the highlights is the "Professor for a Day" programme which invites trade representatives to join at least one lecture of every course subject run by HTM. Participating speakers include Ms Sandra Lee, Permanent Secretary for Economic Development and Labour (Economic Development); Mr Mark Conklin, General Manager of JW Marriott Hong Kong, Mr Tony Zhang, Director and General Manager of China Travel Services (CTS) Hotel Management Ltd and Mr Roy Tan Hardy, Vice President, Marketing and Sales of Hong Kong Disneyland.

This year, to further promote trade-institutional collaboration, HTM launched a new initiative namely "Chair Professor's Distinguished Lecture Series". Organized at the School level, international figures would be invited to share their views on topics related to tourism or hospitality. To kick off the lecture series, Hong Kong Tourism Ambassador and superstar Dr Jackie Chan spoke to HTM students on 28 October. He shared his view on life, attitude and tourism with PolyU students.

In addition, HTM runs various executive development programmes in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland. Among them is the unique Hong Kong Winter School programme, jointly presented with the Hong Kong Hotels Association, to help senior executives keep abreast of the industry development. Other custom-made training programmes are also available on request. Staff members of HTM are actively involved in providing consultancy services, industry surveys and outreach seminars for industry members.

Established in 1979 as the Department of Institutional Management and Catering Studies and later renamed to the School of Hotel and Tourism Management in 2001, HTM has groomed over 10,000 students for the hospitality industry. Every year, over 1,000 students are recruited on taught and research programmes, ranging from Higher Diploma, Bachelor's and Master's Degree, to Professional Doctorate. The School has over 40 academic staff with a range of expertise on the aspects of hotel, food and beverage services and tourism management.

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