Hotel Online  Special Report

Hong Kong PolyU Crafting Leading Brand Name
in Hotel and Tourism Education
(Sing Tao Daily, 28 August 2002)    Prof. Kaye Chon joined The Hong Kong Polytechnic University's School of Hotel & Tourism in July 2000 from the Conrad Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston.  In just two years, Prof. Chon made the School one of the 16 hotel schools worldwide accepted into the World Tourism Organization's travel and tourism education network.  The School has also become the world headquarters and secretariat of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism.  Prof. Chon is determined to build the School of Hotel & Tourism Management at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University into the Cornell or Lausanne of Asia. 

There is a Chinese saying 'Leaves fall to return to the roots'.  When the President of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University invited him to join the School, it is this notion of 'returning to the rootes' which moved him from the US to Asia.  A Korean immigrant to the US 23 years ago, Prof. Chon has become an internationally renowned scholar in the hospitality industry.  He and his family have settled very well in the USA.  'I accepted the invitation because I too would like to return to the roots.' said Prof. Chon. 

Realizing the potential of China becoming the world's number one destination by 2020, Prof. Chon is keen to be part of the growth rather than watching the growth.  Given the gateway location of Hong Kong in relation to China, the government's emphasis on tourism and the imminent Disneyland, Hong Kong has all the advantages in developing a powerful hotel and tourism industry.

Over 16,000 people apply for enrollment at the School of Hotel & Tourism each year, but only 70 are accepted for the undergraduate study.  The future of hotel and tourism is clear in people's mind.

Prof. Chon however hastens to add that students should be prepared to bite the bullet.  He recalled his first day as a management trainee with Holiday Inn.  Dressed in his best suit, he was expecting the glamour of hospitality.  His dreams came crashing down to earth when he was ordered to get cracking peeling carrots.  He complained to the GM, and this is the reply he would never get: 'You're doing this (peeling carrots) because you want to be a manager.  One day, I hope you will be a GM, but you have to understand that, in the kitchen, there are people doing this every day.'  The young Kaye has come a long way since his first day as a carrot-cutter, but that short and sharp lesson has underpinned his whole philosophy towards hospitality education. 

School of Hotel & Tourism
Hong Kong Polytechnic

Also See: Professor Kaye Chon Is a Man with a Mission: To Build the School of Hotel & Tourism Management (HTM) at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University into the Cornell or Lausanne of Asia / April 2002
PolyU’s Tourism School Designated as World HQ of International Academy for the Study of Tourism / Feb 2002

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