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SHTM Celebrates 45 Years of Excellence in Hospitality and Tourism Education

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Mr Jung-Ho Suh (front row, middle) received the SHTM Lifetime Achievement Award from Dr Miranda Lou (front row, right) and Prof. Kaye Chon (front row, left). The ceremony was attended by guests and leaders from the hospitality industry and academia.

The School of Hotel and Tourism Management at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University celebrated its 45th anniversary, marking its achievements in hospitality and tourism education and research.

The School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) celebrated “45 Years of Educational Excellence” in tourism education by hosting a gala dinner at Hotel ICON on 30 May. Nearly 300 guests from around the world attended the event to celebrate the School’s 45th anniversary. The School also announced that Mr Jung-Ho SUH, Chairman of the Ambassador Hotel Group was inducted into the SHTM Gallery of Honour on the same day and presented him the prestigious SHTM Lifetime Achievement Award at the dinner.

In her welcome address, Dr Miranda LOU, Executive Vice President of PolyU, said, “The year 2024 represents a special milestone for the SHTM. For everyone at the School and the University, the key thing to celebrate is not the mere passage of time, but the vision and scale of achievement that have led to the creation of a world-leading centre of educational and research excellence that continues to set new standards for advancing knowledge and serving the hospitality and tourism industry. I have full confidence in the SHTM’s ability to reach even greater heights of global excellence and continue to lead development in the field in the years ahead.”

In its pursuit of excellence, the SHTM strongly emphasises innovative research and encourages a robust research culture amongst its international faculty of more than 90 academics from 20 countries and regions worldwide, in tourism education. In the current academic year, more than 1,450 students from around the world are enrolled on the School’s programmes, which range from the undergraduate to doctoral levels.

The upscale Hotel ICON, which opened in 2011, is at the core of the SHTM’s innovative approach to education and research. This unique, purpose-built and purpose-driven hotel not only supports the School in nurturing a new generation of passionate, pioneering professionals who will become leaders in hospitality and tourism, but also enables SHTM faculty members to conduct in-depth research to advise this global industry.

Along with providing world-class facilities for learning and research, the School has continuously expanded its innovative programme offerings over the years. In 2023, SHTM became a two-time recipient of the International Society of Travel and Tourism Educators (ISTTE) Institutional Achievement Award, exactly two decades after first receiving this recognition from the Society in 2003.

These impressive results are due to the hard work and endeavours of all SHTM and Hotel ICON colleagues. They would also not have been possible without the support and guidance from PolyU, members of the School’s International Advisory Board, the School’s Advisory Committee, the industry and SHTM alumni. As the School bids farewell to its first 45 years, it sets its sights on achieving further global excellence in the field over the next decades.

The celebration culminated in the announcement of the prestigious 2024 SHTM Lifetime Achievement AwardMr Jung-Ho Suh, Chairman of the Ambassador Hotel Group, was honoured with the accolade.

An esteemed leader in the dynamic field of hospitality, Mr Suh is a pioneer of the hospitality industry in Korea. He has achieved remarkable business success by expanding Ambassador Hotel Group, one of the country’s top hotel groups, to embrace a highly diverse range of brands under Accor-Ambassador Korea. His achievements and contributions to the hospitality industry are exceptional. Mr Suh is truly a role model for future hospitality professionals and a source of inspiration for all.

At the ceremony, Mr Suh said, “It is a great honour to be bestowed the SHTM Lifetime Achievement Award. I am humbled to accept it and join past recipients, whom I have long admired and respected. It has been a tremendous pleasure to be a part of this exciting global industry, which has, in itself, been extremely rewarding.”

“The SHTM, under the leadership of Dean Kaye Chon, has gone from strength to strength, and is now among the top few hotel and tourism schools in the world. I am very much encouraged to have witnessed the School’s ongoing efforts in nurturing generations of hospitality leaders, driving the overall development of the industry. On the occasion of the School’s 45th anniversary, may I congratulate all SHTM faculty and staff on achieving this major milestone,” he continued.

Highly regarded for his exemplary achievements in hospitality and tourism education, Mr Suh has relentlessly pursued innovation and success, both within the Ambassador Hotel organisation and in the broader hospitality industry. His strong academic foundation, which includes a Bachelor’s degree from the College of Hospitality at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) and an MBA degree from UNLV’s Business College, has equipped him with a profound understanding of the hospitality industry and a passion for the profession. The numerous accolades Mr Suh received for his contributions to the tourism industry in Korea and France further validate his exceptional leadership and dedication.

Expressing his sincere congratulations to Mr Suh on receiving the honour, Prof. Kaye CHON, SHTM Dean, Chair Professor and Walter and Wendy Kwok Family Foundation Professor in International Hospitality Management, said, “The SHTM prides itself in being a leading force in education and research in hospitality and tourism. Our commitment to excellence is well supported by industry heavyweights and visionary leaders such as Mr Jung-Ho Suh. With steadfast support from our industry partners, our School is committed to nurturing the bright minds who will become future leaders of this very exciting global industry.”

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Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.