Hotel Online  Special Report

 Shangri-La Hotels Opens The Shangri-La Academy
to Provide Chinese Students Hospitality Tools
and Training
Anticipating 32 Hotels and 19,000 Employees by 2007


December 21, 2004 - Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, China's largest luxury hotel group, announced today the opening of Shangri-La Academy centralized employee training center near Beijing.  Created to speed and intensify employee development in pace with the group's rapid China growth, the Academy's progressive training methods focus on critical thinking, problem-solving and empowerment.

The group's China expansion from 17 hotels to at least 32 by 2007 requires its current China workforce to grow from nearly 10,000 to approximately 19,000.  The Academy provides students from throughout China the tools and training to deliver Shangri-La's brand of Asian hospitality and service.

"The establishment of Shangri-La Academy demonstrates our long-term dedication to the Chinese hospitality workforce," said Giovanni Angelini, chief executive officer and managing director of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts.  "With the ascendancy of China as a world economic power and Olympics 2008 over the horizon, this commitment is critical."

Consisting of six training rooms, library, computer lab, demonstration kitchen and lecture hall, training kitchen, training restaurant and lounge, mock-up room and on-campus accommodation for students, the two-story, 19,247-square-foot Academy is located in the Oriental University City, Lang Fang Economic and Technology Development Zone in China's Hebei Province, and is a one-hour drive from downtown Beijing.

The Academy's five-week to three-month training programs feature four core areas:  

  • culinary arts, 
  • food and beverage service, 
  • front office operation and 
  • housekeeping operation.  
The programs adopt progressive instructional methodology: interactive, hands-on, solution-oriented, outcome-driven and industry relevant.  Trainees will learn how to examine, even question the reasons why "things are done in a certain way."

"Customers today have expectations that are more diverse, less predictable, and may even appear illogical," says Zhou Fuyou, principal of the Academy.  "With an increasingly internationalized clientele, the hospitality worker is faced with more complex and discerning customers to please."

An advanced Hospitality Management Program features seminars and workshops in cross-cultural understanding, critical thinking skills and humanities subjects to instill an inquisitive and multi-disciplinary approach to problem-solving.

To share knowledge and firsthand experiences, senior Shangri-La staff members appear as guest speakers to teach selected modules and facilitate discussions.

The Academy's training programs also provide a networking forum for future exchanges and collaborations among Shangri-La employees across the country.  As Principal Zhou explained, "The trainees of Shangri-La Academy will be bearers of the seeds of Shangri-La hospitality wherever they go."

Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts currently manages 44 hotels under the Shangri-La and Traders Hotels brands, in Australia, mainland China, Fiji, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates with a rooms inventory of over 21,000.  In addition, the group has over 20 projects under development in Canada, mainland China, India, Malaysia, Maldives, Oman, Qatar and Thailand.  

Lori Lincoln
Director of Public Relations, North America
Tel: (212) 382-3155; 
Also See: Shangri-La CEO Giovanni Angelini Spending US$130 million to Move the Chain to the Top of the Ladder / April 2002
Why Indian Hotelier Jagsish Rai Sood Chose to Partner with Shangri-La to Operate His Latest Property in New Delhi / HOTEL Asia Pacific / December 2003

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