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26 August 2014 - The School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) have come together to sign an agreement to collaborate for the further development of hospitality finance and technology in Asia.

The agreement was signed by Mr Frank Wolfe, HFTP Chief Executive Officer and Professor Kaye Chon, SHTM Dean and Chair Professor at the SHTM premises today (26 August). Under the agreement, the two parties have agreed to establish a joint research office in an effort to enhance the education and professional development of hospitality practitioners in Asia. The HFTP has pledged a donation of USD100,000 to facilitate this initiative.

"The HFTP has benefitted greatly from our association with the SHTM throughout the years," Mr Frank Wolfe said. "We are proud to be able to contribute to the academic and industry advancement in this special way."

The agreement stipulated that a Student Exchange Scholarship should be established and named after the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals. With the HFTP's support, more SHTM students will be able to benefit from overseas learning experiences which will in turn enhance students' all-round development and their understanding of cultural emersion.

Further efforts will be made to support SHTM faculty members in their pursuit of excellence in the areas of teaching, learning and research. They will not only be given the opportunities to learn new teaching methods at reputable institutions and bring their learning back to the School, but also to explore new frontiers in research and produce quality research output that will benefit the entire industry.

Applied research will also be conducted to facilitate the hospitality industry in its advancement. Focused on areas related to hospitality industry technologies and finance, such research will be conducted by SHTM faculty members in collaboration with international scholars.

Professor Kaye Chon expressed heartfelt gratitude to Mr Frank Wolfe for his generous support. He said, "We are proud to have been associated with the HFTP and we shall continue to do so. The recent benefaction from the organisation has provided a strong boost for the SHTM to make further advancement."

Professor Kaye Chon and Mr Frank Wolfe signed an agreement to establish the Asia Research Office at the SHTM.

About PolyU's 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 programmes 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 / (852) 3400 2634

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