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3rd Global Tourism & Hospitality Conference to celebrate PolyU’s 80th Anniversary

Theodore Koumelis - 14 June 2017, 00:27

Under the theme “Innovation · Research · Education”, HONG KONG 2017 attracted close to 400 participants from 31 countries and regions to exchange views, research findings and insights related to tourism and hospitality in Asia and around the world.


The School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) organised the 3rd Global Tourism & Hospitality Conference (HONG KONG 2017) on 5-7 June 2017 at Hotel ICON in celebration of the University’s 80th anniversary.

The conference was officially opened by Professor Timothy W. Tong, President of PolyU; Miss Cathy Chu, Commissioner for Tourism, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government; Mr Michael Li, Executive Director of the Federation of Hong Kong Hotel Owners; Ms Cynthia Leung, General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Hong Kong Tourism Board; as well as seven UNWTO Ulysses Prize Laureates: Professor David Airey, Emeritus Professor, University of Surrey; Professor Richard Butler, Emeritus Professor, University of Strathclyde; Professor Eduardo Fayos-Solà, Professor, University of Valencia; Professor Donald Hawkins, Professor Emeritus of Tourism Studies, George Washington University; Professor Jafar Jafari, Emeritus Professor, University of Wisconsin-Stout; Professor Pauline Sheldon, Professor Emerita, School of Travel Industry Management, University of Hawaii; and Professor Kaye Chon, SHTM Dean and Chair Professor and Walter Kwok Foundation Professor in International Hospitality Management.


HONG KONG 2017 Organising Committee.


With support from the SHTM’s faculty members, 48 students from the Special Event Class formed the Organising Committee and managed the entire conference from planning to staging. The students were provided a valuable opportunity to gain professional experience, and show their abilities to create an experience unlike any other for conference delegates.

Under the theme “Innovation · Research · Education”, HONG KONG 2017 attracted close to 400 participants from 31 countries and regions to exchange views, research findings and insights related to tourism and hospitality in Asia and around the world. The plenary sessions covered a wide range of topics. Session I and II featured the two UNWTO Ulysses Prize Laureate Open Forums in which the seven distinguished scholars interacted with conference participants to share their profound knowledge and insights. Session III featured the topic “What is ON in Research in Hospitality and Tourism Today?” was chaired by Professor Kijoon Back, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, Eric Hilton Distinguished Chair, Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, University of Houston. Dr Catherine Cheung, SHTM Associate Professor, chaired Session IV on the topic “Hospitality and Tourism Education and Research Around the Globe”.

The conference also featured paper presentation, poster sessions, a panel session entitled “University and Industry Partnerships”, and an “Optional Dinner with Speakers” event for delegates to interact with prominent speakers.

UNWTO Ulysses Prize Laureate Open Forums.


At the Gala Dinner of the conference on 7 June, the Undergraduate Student Best Research Paper Award Presentation was held. This unique award, established by the SHTM to foster high-quality research amongst undergraduate students, was open to all first-author undergraduate students with up to one co-author. The winners were:

Champion – “Why Should Restaurants Source Local Food?” by Malia Bacig and Dr Cheri Young, University of Denver, USA

  • 1st Runner-up – “Revenue Management and Customer Relationship Management: Conflicts or Integrated Revenue Driver?” by Shi Xinchen and Dr Basak Denizci Guillet, PolyU SHTM, Hong Kong
  • 2nd Runner-up – “Generation Y, Virtual Reality, and Tourism” by Juleigh Giberson, Ryerson University, Canada
The inaugural Community Impact Award went to Hong Ka Ling and Dr Pamela Ho of Hong Kong Community College at PolyU on their paper entitled “An Exploratory Study of Exhibitor Perspective of Green Exhibition in Hong Kong”. This award was introduced by the SHTM to recognise undergraduate students whose research have demonstrated great potentials for societal impact.

In his closing remarks, SHTM Dean Professor Kaye Chon said, “We at the SHTM consider it vital to unite students, alumni, industry partners, educators and researchers to promote collaboration in hospitality and tourism education and research for the future innovative development of the industry. We are very proud of our talented students who have so diligently put together an enriching programme and created such a unique platform for the meaningful collaboration.”


Photo caption: Conference participants at Welcome Reception.


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