The School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) is privileged to announce that Dr HO Kwon Ping, Founder and Executive Chairman, Banyan Tree Holdings Ltd, was inducted into the SHTM Gallery of Honour on 22 May 2023, the same day he was bestowed the prestigious SHTM Lifetime Achievement Award at a gala dinner held in his honour.
At the ceremony, Prof. Wing-tak WONG, Deputy President and Provost of PolyU, said, “Dr Ho is a visionary entrepreneur and innovator in the hospitality industry, a respected industry leader, and a passionate advocate for sustainable tourism. He is a stellar role model for all SHTM students, and, indeed, all hospitality students around the world.”
Expressing his heartfelt congratulations to Dr Ho on receiving the honour, Prof. Kaye CHON, SHTM Dean, Chair Professor and Walter and Wendy Kwok Family Foundation Professor in International Hospitality Management, said, “A pioneer and an inspirational role model, Dr Ho’s exemplary accomplishments have not only played an important role in raising the level of the regional and global hospitality business but also helped transform it through a distinctively Asian focus. A firm believer in education, he is an ardent supporter of hospitality and tourism education. Dr Ho is a longstanding partner of the SHTM and a truly deserving recipient of this award.”
Dr Ho remarked, “I am deeply honoured and humbled to be conferred the SHTM Lifetime Achievement Award. Ironically, it was long ago, during my tenure as Chairman of the SHTM International Advisory Board that I suggested the creation of the Lifetime Achievement Award, so that we could honour the pioneers of hospitality in Asia. The initial awardees were truly giants of our industry and inspired people of my generation. To join their ranks is truly an honour I could not have possibly envisaged.”
“Under the long and visionary leadership of Dean Chon, the SHTM has become clearly the most prestigious tertiary hospitality school in Asia, and among the top few in the world. An entire generation of Asian hospitality leaders owe many of their achievements to the education which Dean Chon and his colleagues provided them,” he continued.
Dr Ho Kwon Ping is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings and Laguna Resorts and Hotels, and Executive Chairman of Thai Wah Public Company. All three family-owned companies are listed in Singapore and Thailand.
Dr Ho was the founding Chairman of Singapore Management University and has also chaired Singapore Power and MediaCorp Singapore. He has served on the boards of Standard Chartered Bank, Diageo, Singapore Airlines and GIC.
Among various awards, Dr Ho has received the London Business School Entrepreneurship Award; CEO of the Year at the Singapore Corporate Awards; CNBC Travel Business Leader Award; Distinguished Alumnus Award from the National University of Singapore; and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the American Creativity Association, China Hotel Investment Summit and Australia Hotel Investment Summit. Honoured for his contributions and accomplishments in the hotel industry in the Asia Pacific region and globally, Dr Ho is the only two-time recipient of the awards bestowed by the Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific – Innovation Award (2003) and Lifetime Achievement Award (2019) – in its 30-year establishment.
For his services to the country, he has been decorated with the Meritorious Service Medal and Distinguished Service Order by the Singapore government. Dr Ho has also been conferred honorary doctorates by Johnson & Wales University and PolyU.
“The SHTM prides itself as a leading force in world hospitality, and tourism research and education,” said Dean Chon. “Our commitment to excellence is well supported by industry heavyweights and visionaries such as Dr Ho Kwon Ping. 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.”
The Gallery of Honour is located in the SHTM lobby. It displays portraits of the outstanding recipients of the Award, individuals who represent the world’s most successful hospitality organisations and recognisable brands. The School established this award to honour outstanding personalities who have contributed substantially to the development of hospitality and tourism in Hong Kong, the region and the world, recognising the true leaders who have helped define the global hospitality landscape and advance the industry.
About PolyU’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management
For over 40 years, the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has refined a distinctive vision of hospitality and tourism education and become a world-leading hotel and tourism school. Ranked No. 1 in the world in the “Hospitality and Tourism Management” category in ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2022 for the sixth consecutive year; placed No. 1 globally in the “Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services” category in the University Ranking by Academic Performance in 2021/2022 for five years in a row; rated No. 1 in the world in the “Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism” subject area in the CWUR Rankings by Subject 2017; and ranked No. 2 in the world among university based programmes in the “Hospitality and Leisure Management” subject area in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023 for the seventh consecutive year, the SHTM is a symbol of excellence in the field, exemplifying its motto of Leading Hospitality and Tourism.
The School is driven by the need to serve its industry and academic communities through the advancement of education and dissemination of knowledge. With a strong international team of over 90 faculty members from diverse cultural backgrounds, the SHTM offers programmes at levels ranging from undergraduate to doctoral degrees. Through Hotel ICON, the School’s groundbreaking teaching and research hotel and a vital aspect of its paradigm-shifting approach to hospitality and tourism education, the SHTM is advancing teaching, learning and research, and inspiring a new generation of passionate, pioneering professionals to take their positions as leaders in the hospitality and tourism industry.
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