HoSTS e-Newsletter
Issue 3

The Discipline of Hotel, Service and Tourism Studies (HoSTS) of IVE is proud to present its newsletter with an up-to-date overview of the Discipline’s activities, both within the campuses of IVE (Chai Wan) and IVE (Haking Wong), as well as those of our industrial partners in the hotel, tourism, sports and recreation industries, locally and internationally. Thanks to the industries’ staunch support, we have been able to enrich the learning experience of our students, who learn not only in the classroom but also in the “real world” through industrial placement, which prepare them well for future employment and further studies. We hope this newsletter serves as an effective communication channel and helps foster even a closer working relationship among HoSTS, the industry, and our school partners.

Master Class: Renowned Bordeaux Wine Expert at HoSTS Workshop
Students who just completed “Wine & Spirits Studies” last semester had a chance to attend a workshop in the art of fine-wine making in November 2014. Ms. Wendy Narby, a world renowned wine critic and senior trainer from The Bordeaux Wine School (L’Ecole du Vin de Bordeaux) conducted the workshop for HoSTS students from the “Higher Diploma in Hotel and Catering Management”. Students have the chance to learn all about fine wines in the world famous region - Bordeaux. Ms. Narby also delivered two Bordeaux Wine Master Classes covering viticulture, grape varieties, wine-making processes as well as wine characteristics in the Bordeaux Region to the teaching staff and industry practitioners under the VTC Overseas Visiting Fellows Scheme.

Apart from the student programme, a two-day intensive Bordeaux wine training was also organized for HoSTS lecturers to advance their wine knowledge with the latest updates. Ms. Narby especially handpicked all the wines for the workshops to ensure that their wine knowledge, as well as handling and tasting techniques were further enhanced under her tutelage.

In the purpose-built wine laboratory at IVE (Haking Wong), participants were able to immerse themselves fully in learning about Bordeaux wine. With Ms. Narby’s lucid explanation and professional knowledge in oenology, students and lecturers were taken on an insider tour of Bordeaux’s wine history and its development, the uniqueness of its soil and the region’s wine-making techniques.

In view of the encouraging feedback, HoSTS will again invite Ms. Narby to give a series of tailor-made training workshops to our students and lecturers in October 2015.

To learn more about Overseas Visiting Fellows Scheme, please click here.
HoSTS Broadens International Network; Expands Students’
International Exposure
To strengthen HoSTS’ international network, two Memorandum of Understandings were signed in 2014 with Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School in Australia and Tourism Schools Salzburg in Austria respectively. This milestone ensures HoSTS students can gain exposure and obtain valuable overseas learning experience through various exchange programmes. HoSTS will continue to explore collaboration opportunities with other leading hospitality institutes around the world.

Two students from “Higher Diploma in Hotel and Catering Management” and “Higher Diploma in International Hospitality and Tourism Management” were awarded Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS) scholarships and funding from VTC Student Development Foundation to embark on a one-term exchange in BMIHMS from July to September 2014. The students attended three modules from the Bachelor Degree Programme while living on campus. They enjoyed their leisure time touring in and around Sydney by learning about aboriginal culture and visiting many attractions from the Sydney Opera House to the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

One of the students in the BMIHMS exchange programme, Cindy Yip, has this to say about her experience: “The campus in Leura is located very near to one of the Australia’s top natural tourist attractions – the Blue Mountains, a place where I would call a ‘Photographers’ Paradise’. The landscape was amazing, and we were very lucky to have a chance to visit the ‘Three Sisters’ and many other breathtaking attractions in Katoomba. This exchange experience had helped me to advance myself further in embracing new challenges. I could proudly say that I was fortunate enough to learn many new things from the Australian culture and ways of life!”

In the light of the positive feedback, the one-term exchange programme to three different institutes will be opened to HoSTS students in 2015. Selected students will be going to BMIHMS in Sydney, Queensland Institute in Brisbane or Sheffield Hallam University in the U.K.

To learn more about our exchange programmes, please click here.
Career Exploration Programme for Youth
In 2014-15, VTC has been selected as the Supporting Organization again at the “Hang Seng – HKCSS Youth Career Exploration Programme” which was first launched in last academic year covering three industries namely, “Airport Operations”, “Jewellery” and “Healthcare and Nursing”.

In response to the industry development and manpower demand, “Theme Parks & Attractions” has also been added to the industry lineup in the 2014/15 Programme.

This initiative offers an opportunity for Secondary Four students to explore different paths of career development by looking at a few key growing industries in Hong Kong. The 10-month programme includes industry overview, soft skills workshops, company visits, group project competition and job shadowing for the participants.

The two main segments namely: “Airport Operations” and “Theme Parks & Attractions” under the umbrella of tourism have been experiencing tremendous growth in recent years. The manpower demand in these areas is also expected to rise in the next 10 years. According to the recent report provided by the Tourism Commission of the HKSAR Government, expansion projects of the two theme parks in Hong Kong will be completed by 2017 along with their new hotels.

The need for expanding the Hong Kong International Airport into a three-runway system has also been affirmed by the Executive Council of the HKSAR Government, with an estimated increase of 123,000 job openings by 2030 on the airport island.

To prepare our students to develop their career in these segments of the industry, HoSTS students from “Higher Diploma in International Hospitality and Tourism Management” and “Higher Diploma in Airport Operations Management” are required to complete their industrial attachment either at theme parks, airport or other hospitality related organizations before graduation such that they will gain professional practical experience and industry insights apart from classroom learning.

To learn more about our study programmes, please click here.
HoSTS students designed “Barrier-Free” tour routes
With three months’ time, a group of students and graduates from the “Higher Diploma in Tourism and MICE” was able to develop five accessible tour routes in Sai Kung for the physically challenged under the “Accessible Travel Expert” project.

This meaningful project was sponsored by the Labour and Welfare Bureau of the HKSAR Government. At the event launch day, HoSTS students were able to recount their journey in accomplishing this purposeful project with the aim to help the underprivileged to enjoy the beauty of nature and heritage in the Sai Kung area. Students also shared their findings and suggested ways to optimize “barrier-free” tourism facilities in Hong Kong.

These insights and recommendations were generated based on their professional tourism planning and development knowledge acquired from their study at IVE, together with observations and discussions with their target audience in this project. The students designed these “Barrier-Free” itineraries as a great outdoor option for the normally home-bounded group to integrate themselves into the community.

HoSTS Mentees’ Sharing
The first HoSTS Mentorship Programme has been completed successfully. For the invaluable advice and guidance given by the mentors, the fourteen mentees have expressed their deepest appreciation to them.

Two of the mentees have shared their experiences as follows:

“With the arrangement made by the Discipline, I met Professor Ip together with two other classmates. We were able to get closer to Professor Ip through regular emails, phone calls and several short meetings about our studies and progress on job hunting,” said Ho Wai-hong, one of the mentees in the mentorship programme.

Wai-hong recalled the days spent with Professor Albert Ip, the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of Langham Hospitality Investments Limited. “I was very impressed by Professor Ip’s dedication and kindness; he spared time out of his busy schedule in arranging a mock interview for my university admission. He pointed out things that I could do better and shared plenty of ‘dos and don’ts’ techniques which have helped tremendously in strengthening my confidence during the interview. It was a great honour to have such a mentor and indeed a precious experience to be part of the mentorship programme.”

“I think mentorship is an excellent platform for us to advance our knowledge and experience in the hospitality industry,” said Yuci Iu, who was mentored by Mr. Brian Liu, Area Director, Human Resources (Hong Kong and Macau), InterContinental Hotels Group cum Director of HumanResourses, Holiday Inn Golden Mile Hong Kong. “Brian encouraged me to think deeper by asking questions for problem solving. I was pleased to be a helper in the Recruitment Day of the InterContinential Hotels Group. Through this event, I have learned more about the operations of the Human Resources Department.”

The mentorship programme received many encouraging feedback from both mentors and mentees. It provided the students with lots of useful insights and practical advice from their mentors. The second mentorship programme is already in progress. Students who joined this programme will be given many opportunities to learn from industry leaders and acquire valuable life skills to equip themselves to take up new challenges in life.

Alumni Sharing
Ivy Ng

Director of Corporate Planning and Development,
AsiaWorld-Expo Management Limited
IVE HoSTS graduate from travel and tourism programme

I am an outgoing person who likes meeting new people and discovering wonderful things in life. I believe my life has been enriched by the people whom I met and the various experiences that I have accumulated. IVE HoSTS provided me with plenty of opportunities to explore such a wonderful life journey. I was given a golden chance to become a Cultural Representative at the Walt Disney World in the U.S. for one year. My potential was further unleashed during the HoSTS internship at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre where I have also began my career in MICE industry.

On behalf of the AsiaWorld-Expo, I am now the member of the Lantau Development Alliance. I hope to contribute my effort to promote the sustainable development of Lantau Island and in turn foster the growth of tourism development in Hong Kong.

Wallace Lo

Sommelier, BIBO
Best Sommelier Greater China Competition 2013 - Champion
Best Sommelier Hong Kong Competition 2013 - Champion
IVE HoSTS graduate from international hospitality
management programme

I started to develop a strong interest in food and wine during my study at HoSTS. IVE provided me lots of invaluable industry experience such as internship at the Hong Kong Jockey Club and later at the Shangri-La Hotel. These practical experiences enabled me to further develop my interest in wine.

After graduation, my lecturer advised me that I should broaden my knowledge in wine and encouraged me to follow my dreams. Seven years after my graduation, I am now a Sommelier in a fine dining restaurant, doing things that I enjoy the most and are also good at.

If you are interested in finding out more about HoSTS’ alumni profile, please click here.