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Five-star first nears for PolyU

Beatrice Siu

Friday, October 30, 2009

A HK$1.3 billion hotel-teaching complex is scheduled to open next year at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University campus.

It will serve as the world's first university- run hotel and teaching center - enhancing the hospitality and tourism management programs at PolyU.

The 29-story complex in Hung Hom is expected to include "a five-star quality hotel at four-star hotel prices."

Dr Kaye Chon Kye-sung, chair professor and director of the PolyU School of Hotel and Tourism Management, is eagerly awaiting the June opening.

"As we are preparing for the opening of the hotel next year, we seek to scale new heights and attain a higher level of excellence in the years ahead," Chon said yesterday.

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As well as featuring a fully integrated hotel operation, the development will include teaching facilities and staff quarters.

The high-end hotel will feature "innovative concepts, giving brand-new feelings to customers," Chon said.

It will have three prototype rooms with themed designs and technology. Customers may also enjoy specialized services.

The School of Hotel and Tourism Management, which is currently occupying a floor of a core building on the campus, will move into the new building next October. Any profits made will be fully contributed to the university.

Seven to eight people have already been recruited to fill managerial posts, including general manager Richard Hatter, formerly of Shangri- La Hotels and Resorts. The hotel will employ an unspecified number of full and part-time staff, with 30 percent of them coming from PolyU student ranks.

The hotel has not been named, but the university has set up a wholly owned company, Poly U Teaching and Research Hotel, to manage the project.

Chon said the Poly U program has been ranked No2 in the world in terms of research output - two places higher than four years ago - and is the world leader in research instances, according to "A World Ranking of the Top 100 Hospitality and Tourism Programs" study, which is set to be published in next month's issue of the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research.

The School of Hotel and Tourism Management ranked world No2 among academic institutions in hospitality and tourism, based on total research output in the 11 leading hospitality and tourism journals, from 1992 to 2006.

"As a global center of excellence in hospitality and tourism education for the 21st century, the school is well-poised to lead the world's hospitality and tourism education in the years to come," Chon said.

Top ranking in research output is held by Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Chon said the school hopes to attract more students from the mainland and overseas in the years ahead.


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