The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) to collaborate on the rolling out of educational strategies aimed at honing Abu Dhabi’s ability to engage the rapidly-emerging Asian and Chinese outbound markets.
The MOU was signed by Professor Kaye Chon, chair professor and director of PolyU’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM), and ADTA deputy director general, Mr. Abdul-Aziz Al Hammadi. Under the MOU, the two organizations will cooperate on the staging of workshops and seminars for Abu Dhabi’s industry stakeholders and will share best practices and research findings.
The educational strategies, which include custom-made executive development programs for ADTA’s management and employees, will be formulated with SHTM. “The MOU demonstrated Abu Dhabi’s confidence in our ability to deliver to exacting standards,” remarked Professor Chon, SHTM director, “and we will contribute to the advancement of the rapidly-developing hospitality and tourism industry in the Gulf states.”
The first event after the signing of the MOU was two industry seminars delivered by Professor Kaye Chon to the local industry professionals. Professor Chon spoke on “Service Quality Management in Asian Context” and “Asian Paradigm in Hospitality and Tourism: Understanding and Profiting from the New Waves in Hospitality and Tourism Industry.”
The Asian and Chinese markets are increasingly important to the Arabian Gulf emirate, particularly as the UAE now has the Approved Destination Status from the Chinese authority, which allows its main operators to proceed with group bookings to the country. Indeed, Abu Dhabi has all the right qualifications for resonating well with the Asian travelers – the natural assets, cultural attractions, quality accommodation, and, above all, reputation for safety.
“The needs of the Asian travelers are specific and must be addressed if we are to reach our potential in attracting this segment,” Mr. Mubarak Al Muhairi, ADTA director general, pointed out, “and we want to ensure that all within the destination are better equipped to fulfill these exacting requirements. PolyU is one of the world’s leading hospitality and tourism education institutions and in it we have a partner with the relevant experience and pedigree to assist us in meeting our goals throughout the region.”
PolyU’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management is a leading provider of hospitality education in the Asia-Pacific Region. It is ranked no. 2 in the world 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 60 academic staff drawing from 18 countries, the school offers programs at levels ranging from PhD to Higher Diploma. It was awarded the 2003 International Society of Travel and Tourism Educators Institutional Award in recognition of its significant contribution to tourism education and is the only training center in the Education and Training Network in Asia recognized by the United Nations World Tourism Organization.