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2 February 2015 - The School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has been working in close collaboration with the international wine industry to develop a distinctive programme, The Master of Science (MSc) in International Wine Management, to groom the next generation of global industry leaders.

Introducing this development, Professor Kaye Chon, Dean and Chair Professor of the SHTM and Walter Kwok Foundation Professor in International Hospitality Management, noted that as a key player in the vibrant international wine scene, Hong Kong offers a unique location for anyone aspiring to be a part of this dynamic growth area. He said, "Combined with the huge growth of the wine market in Mainland China, the need for wine professionals with advanced, specialised training and education, as well as a global perspective continues to grow. The Master of Science (MSc) in International Wine Management has been designed to meet this demand."

Offered in Hong Kong - Asia's world city - by the SHTM, the programme is the first-of-its-kind in the region. "There is an increasing demand for wine trade personnel in Asia, but there is no other Master's programme to enhance their professional competence and strategic thinking," Professor Haiyan Song, Associate Dean of the SHTM and Programme Leader, explained. He noted that recent findings in Hong Kong shows  that the wine industry requires more sophisticated skills to meet the needs of the international wine market, with 57.2% of full-time staff taking up positions at managerial and supervisory levels. However, only 5.2% of local industry practitioners possess wine-related professional qualifications. 

This one-of-a-kind programme comes in time to help wine professionals to further their academic pathway for progression in the global wine industry. It grooms industry leaders, educators and researchers by deepening their understanding of the latest trends in the wine business, demystifying its complexities, and empowering them to lead the future development of the industry. Students of this programme will also have the opportunity to learn more about Mainland Chinese wine consumers and gain insights into some of the fastest growing and potentially lucrative wine markets in the world. 

The programme was developed in consultation with noted wine industry figure Professor Jeannie Cho Lee, Professor of Practice (Wine) of the SHTM and the first Asian Master of Wine (MW), and endorsed by renowned industry leaders. It features residential study trips providing students with the opportunity to visit well-known wine regions, such as Burgundy or Bordeaux, to understand the best practice in wine production, trade and management with a view to increasing their international exposure and developing global networks. "Based in the heart of the booming Asia-Pacific region, the SHTM is best placed to provide international education to meet the specific demands of a truly global industry," Professor Jeannie Cho Lee remarked.

To be launched in the 2015/16 academic year, this new MSc programme will be available in both full-time and part-time modes.

About School of Hotel and Tourism Management

PolyU's School of Hotel and Tourism Management is a world-leading provider of hospitality and tourism education. It was ranked No. 2 internationally among hotel and tourism schools based on research and scholarship, according to a study published in the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research in November 2009.

With 65 academic staff drawing from 20 countries and regions, the School offers programme at levels ranging from Higher Diploma to Ph.D. Currently a member of the UNWTO Knowledge Network, the School was bestowed the McCool Breakthrough Award in 2012 by the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (I-CHRIE) recognising its breakthrough in the form of its teaching and research hotel - Hotel ICON - the heart of the School's innovative approach to hospitality and tourism education.

Contact: Ms Pauline Ngan, Senior Marketing Manager School of Hotel and Tourism Management, PolyU

pauline.ngan@polyu.edu.hk / +852 3400-2634

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