With the support of world-renowned, electronics manufacturer, Samsung Electronics Hong Kong, the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has garnered more momentum in advancing hospitality technology.
Equipped with advanced-computing facilities and specialized software for the industry, the Samsung Digital Lab for Hospitality Technology has been set up on the university campus. It was officially unveiled yesterday (October 30) by Mr. Brian Kim, president of Samsung Electronics Hong Kong Co., Ltd.; Prof. Suleyman Demokan, PolyU vice president (academic development); and Prof. Kaye Chon, chair professor and director of SHTM.
“It is the mission of PolyU to achieve academic excellence in a professional context,” remarked Prof. Demokan in his opening speech. “One of the ways is through dedicated partnerships with the business, the industry, the professions, and the community.”
“Samsung’s goal is to empower young people with opportunities to excel and to benefit their local communities,” said Mr. Kim. “With Hong Kong’s potential as a leading city for international conferences and a window to the world’s largest market – China – there is a strong demand for creative, talented people in the tourism industry. The Samsung Digital Lab will provide these students with an inspirational and flexible learning environment that is conducive to creativity. We hope it helps them to reach their full potential and ultimately contribute to Hong Kong’s sustained status as an internationally competitive economy.”
Prof. Chon said the opening of this lab has highlighted the school’s determination to stay at the forefront of technological change. “Our students can gain hands-on experience with industry booking and enquiry software, as well as the application of information technology in the hospitality settings. This clearly befits our status as Asia’s leading hospitality and tourism institution,” he said.
Built around the generous sponsorship from Samsung, the Digital Lab is home to a wide range of computing and audio-visual equipment including 58 R-Series notebooks, high-definition LCD TVs, network printers, DVD HD camcorder, air cleaner, home theatre system, and DVD and blu-ray disc players. To help students keep abreast of hospitality technology, all computers are installed with advanced software products that facilitate teaching of subjects including lodging management, revenue management, financial management, E-business, technology management, and data analysis for the industry.
The new facilities ensure that students have experience using the latest technology available in the industry. With classes regularly held in the lab, and Executive Development Programs making use of the facilities, a broad range of learners, as well as researchers, will benefit from the use of this Lab.
More importantly, this collaboration has paved the way for the future development of the hospitality technology facility at PolyU’s Teaching Hotel, as Samsung has pledged its full support to this initiative by providing its cutting-edge telecommunications equipment; a range of LCD screens for teaching, use in conferences and displays in public areas; the hotel’s CCTV security system; and data network infrastructure for Internet access and other emerging applications.
Samsung is also actively engaged in partnerships with educational institutions – its Hope for Education program in the United States supports primary and secondary schools with the latest technology through a nation-wide essay competition.
PolyU is building dedicated premises for SHTM, incorporating a teaching hotel, on the site of its former staff quarters Pak Sui Yuen in Tsimshatsui East. The construction project is now in full swing and is expected to be completed by 2010.