Hong Kong hosts first China forum

With the support of the UNWTO, the School of Hotel and Tourism Management of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has hosted the First International Forum on Tourism Education and the Fourth China Tourism Forum with peer institutions in China. Each of the forum attracted over 200 attendance, including participants from around the world and Mainland China.

As a leading hospitality and tourism education institution in China, PolyU’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management was proud to pioneer the First International Forum on Tourism Education with the support of UNWTO and the Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the Tourism Bureau of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Guilin Tourism Bureau and Guilin Institute of Tourism in the city of Guilin, Guangxi, China on 12 - 13 December 2007.

With an aim to enhance the international competitiveness of tourism education in China, the Forum provided a platform for academics and practitioners to exchange views and research outputs related to this important topic. The issues explored in the Forum included the impact of the trend of tourism development on tourism education; the modes of training tourism professionals; work-integrated education; research on the programme structure and profession of tourism education; students’ understanding and experience on tourism education; and the development trend and future prospect of tourism education.

The Forum featured three keynote presentations and three panel discussions. Speakers included leading academics and industry experts such as UNWTO Director of Department of Development Assistance Dr Harsh Varma; UNWTO Director of Themis Foundation Mr Vicente Moles; Dr Perry Hobson, Director of International Centre of Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality Education; Prof Kaye Chon, Chair Professor and Director of PolyU’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management; Prof Li Feng-sheng, President of Guilin Institute of Tourism; Mr Chen Xian-chun, Head of Human Resources Department of the China National Tourism Administration; Mr James Lu, Executive Director of Hong Kong Hotels Association, so on and so forth.

Co-organised by UNWTO, PolyU’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management and the School of Business and Tourism Management of Yunnan University, the Fourth China Tourism Forum took place in Kunming, Yunnan, China on 15 - 16 December 2007. Themed around community-based tourism, the two-day Forum provided an excellent opportunity for tourism policy makers, academics and industry professionals to meet and exchange views on the impact of tourism development in the world’s fastest growing economy.

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The Forum featured two keynote presentations and three panel discussions. Important topics discussed in the Forum included mega trends of tourism in Asia Pacific and implications for China tourism industry; the role of sustainable tourism development in poverty reduction; community-based tourism; emerging issues in the hospitality and tourism industry in China; the role of international educational institutions in knowledge transfer and network learning in community-based tourism; the development perspectives of Chinese community tourism; and ecotourism and sustainable development.

Speakers included eminent academics and leading industry practitioners such as Prof Wu Song, President of Yunnan University; Prof Kaye Chon, Chair Professor and Director of PolyU’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management; Prof Peter Murphy, Foundation Professor of Tourism and Hospitality, La Trobe University; Prof Stephen Drew, Dean of Graduate School and Head of Research, Glion Institute of Higher Education; Prof Chris Ryan, Professor in Tourism, Waikato Management School, The University of Waikato; Prof Xie Yanjun, Dean, School of Tourism and Hotel Management, Dongbei University of Finance and Economics; Mr Cliff Wallace, Managing Director, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre; Mr Ronnie Ho, Chairman, Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong, Mr Hua Zefei, General Manager of Yunnan Expo Group Co. Ltd., etc.

The Fourth China Tourism Forum also conferred the “Lifetime Achievement Award in Tourism Education and Research in China” to the distinguished scholar Prof Shen Baojia in recognition of his significant contribution to tourism research and education in China.

The Fifth China Tourism Forum would be hosted jointly with Tourism College Huangshan University and held in Huang Shan, China, on 13 - 14 December 2008.

“With China experiencing strong demand for international and domestic tourism, it is important for the country to keep in pace the trend of tourism education development around the world and to examine closely issues facing the tourism industry in China,” said Prof Kaye Chon. “The PolyU’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management is uniquely positioned to play a leading role in facilitating dialogue between academics and practitioners in such issues.”
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