Feburary 2018
HoSTS e-Newsletter
Issue 7
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.
Scholarship for HoSTS Diploma of Foundation Studies Graduates

Thanks to the great success of the “Scholarship for the Regal Hotels Youth Development Programme” in academic years 2015-2017, 18 HoSTS students have taken the first crucial steps in their careers in the hospitality industry. To build on this, Regal Hotels International has made another generous donation of HK$760,000 to support a further 19 awardees in the current academic year. Apart from the financial benefits of these scholarships, every recipient also gets invaluable mentoring and opportunities for work attachments in the front office, food and beverage, and housekeeping departments of various Regal properties. In this way, students can develop an in-depth understanding of hotel operations through practical training, which also helps them identify preferred career paths and future goals within the industry.

The latest 19 lucky awardees are graduates of the Diploma in Foundation Studies (Hospitality) course who have moved on to the IVE’s Higher Diploma in Hotel and Catering Management and Higher Diploma in International Hospitality and Tourism Management programmes. They received fulsome support and encouragement from senior executives of Regal Hotels during the initial award ceremony held in October 2017.

“I was so honoured to receive a scholarship, with the chance to work in a hotel front office,” says one new award holder Pian Lai. “Although I have only just started, Regal’s managers have already taught me many things during the interview and in training sessions. I’m looking forward to carrying out my attachment.”

More than 130 industry scholarships are awarded to HoSTS students each year. Together with other merit and bursary awards from the VTC and the Hong Kong government that means over 300 scholarships are available for HoSTS students annually.

To learn more about HoSTS news and events, please click here.

IVE HoSTS students celebrate their success

The final of the “Hong Kong Itinerary Design Competition 2017”, organised by the Global Travel and Tourism Partnership (GTTP) and Lotus Tours Limited, was held in September 2017. Two IVE teams were recognised as the overall champion and a merit prize winner in the category for tertiary education institutes which was newly introduced. The competition proved to be a great learning platform for students of tourism studies, as it allowed contestants to design their own thematic itinerary using innovative and exciting ideas and their own presentation styles.

With encouragement from IVE lecturers, 13 entries were submitted by students taking the Higher Diploma in Tourism and MICE, and five were shortlisted for the final round after a tough selection process. Accepting some guidance where necessary, the students applied the knowledge and skills they had acquired in modules such as “Tour Guiding and Escorting Practices”, “Incentive Travel Planning and Escorting” and “Cruise Industry and Land Transport” to outshine the other competitors.

Bobo Lam and her teammate were named as overall champions. “It was truly an amazing experience to go on stage and present our itinerary. For this competition, we came up with a brilliant idea: designing an itinerary for tourists to fully experience local Japanese culture with the help of new technologies. We would like to thank our lecturers for their continuous support and their faith in us. Through this competition, our industry knowledge, presentation skills and team spirit have been greatly enhanced.”

Training ground to groom future sommeliers

Calvin Choi and Elf Kwok, respectively a fresh graduate and a current student of the Higher Diploma in Hotel and Catering Management, teamed up to take part in the Hong Kong Wine Competition 2017 last November. Organised by the Hong Kong Wine Chamber of Commerce, it was a chance for the pair to demonstrate their talent and passion. Capping an excellent performance during the contest, the duo took home the top prize after outperforming five other teams of students and wine industry professionals.

In January 2018, Choi and Kwok teamed up with fellow HoSTS students to take part in the Left Bank Bordeaux Cup Competition to further hone their skills. After some intensive training from IVE HoSTS accredited wine lecturers, the team came top in the blind tasting category and was first runner-up in the overall contest against five other teams from local universities.

“We have learnt so much, even if we didn’t get to represent Hong Kong at the final in Bordeaux, France in June,” Kwok says. “We have picked up useful experience and, overall, a much deeper knowledge of wine.”

To learn more about the HoSTS programmes, please click here

Top-up degree scholarships help IVE graduates shine in the world

With multiple articulation pathways mapped out for IVE HoSTS graduates, students have long been able to choose the most suitable route for them to complete their degree programmes. In order to provide the best possible support, there are also generous top-up degree scholarships available from Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) in the UK, the University of Queensland in Australia, and the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management in Dubai. The scholarships range in value from HK$30,000 to HK$120,000 and are offered for outstanding IVE HoSTS students who want to complete relevant degree programmes in these renowned overseas institutions.

Ann Liu was awarded an SHU top-up degree scholarship. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be able to study at an overseas university. Taking an IVE course helped me find my strengths and offered me so many opportunities to excel.” Fellow scholarship winner Au Tsz Shan was similarly enthusiastic. “I thought about studying overseas after my DSE, but didn’t have a huge amount of financial support, so I decided to do a higher diploma in Hong Kong first. As I learnt more about the multiple articulation pathways after joining IVE HoSTS, I knew I had made the right choice. When I received the top-up degree scholarship, I was over the moon, because with savings from my internship and part-time work, I can almost finance myself completely!”

Another winner Man Chong Sing echoed those sentiments. “I feel extremely honoured and deeply appreciative about receiving this award. It has boosted my confidence tremendously and inspired me to realise my dreams. More importantly, the award will help to alleviate the financial burden of studying overseas, which would be impossible otherwise. My motto has always been that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and this award will help me to better myself and contribute to society.”

For more information about our top-up degree articulations, please click here.

Overseas industry attachment is an awesome way to learn

With Hong Kong being a world-class city, employers really value international exposure. For this reason, two lucky students were sent to Osaka, Japan for atwo-month industry attachment (IA) in July and August last year.

The students, who both have a good level of proficiency in Japanese, were first attached to JTB Corporation. There, they shadowed and worked with supervisors in the inbound division, the educational tour division, and the information counter in Kyoto. This provided meaningful experience since the IA programme gave the students valuable time in various departments.

“We worked at the corporate office first, where we assisted in tour planning and communicating with different parties,” says Pinky Kwong, who is taking the Higher Diploma in Tourism and MICE. “While at the Kyoto information counter, we interacted with local and international customers; these were all very different experiences. Most interesting for me was that we really had a taste of working life in Japan. We also came to understand and appreciate more about the traditions and work culture in Japan through our informal gatherings with colleagues after work.”

In the second month, the students’ IA was at the Hotel Agora Moriguchi where they shadowed supervisors and worked in front office and then the food & beverage department. “We were able to practise our customer service skills and compare what we have learnt at IVE with these experiences in Japan,” says Anna Li. “We learnt about all the operations in this hotel, and it was also a crash course in Japanese language and communications. Now I am very confident about rendering services to Japanese customers.”

Apart from Japan, the Discipline also provides IA opportunities in the USA, France, Australia and mainland China.

To learn more about the various overseas exchange programmes, please click here.

International Exposure for HoSTS Students

To give students a global perspective and broaden their horizons, IVE HoSTS Discipline organised more than 16 international exchanges in the past academic year, catering to different talents and interests. As a result, students have acquired knowledge and had many memorable experiences.

The Royal Caribbean Cruise – Voyager of the Seas, Vietnam

Twenty students from HoSTS Higher Diploma Programmes embarked on an educational study tour on the Royal Caribbean Cruise – Voyager of the Seas to Vietnam in September 2017. The tour gave them a practical understanding of cruise ship and MICE event operations. The programme included a behind-the-scenes tour during which each department head explained operations in the day-to-day environment, and a topical seminar on MICE Operations was delivered on a cruise ship by the General Manager of Lotus Tours. To further strengthen the learning content, two key opinion leaders (KOL) were also on board to share with the students their experiences of cruise travel and how to handle customer expectations.

Queensland, Australia

Last summer, 20 students from the Higher Diploma in Tourism and MICE took part in a one-week study programme at TAFE Queensland Institute and the University of Queensland. They attended classes and outings with local students specialising in the same field. Discussion and presentation sessions allowed them to compare and analyse tourism resources in their respective cities and exchange ideas for promoting further development. The students also spent a day at the University of Queensland, which is ranked number two globally for the subject of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism. This gave them a better understanding of the programme structure and learning environment at one of the top-up degree articulation options. The group also visited the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, where venue managers spoke about the key factors in organising successful events and festivals. The lectures, outings, interaction and visits were certainly a great experience for all the students, in particular those interested in developing a career in the MICE industry.

Coffee Learning Tour, Taiwan

Coffee culture has become a part of life for many Hongkongers. To equip students with the necessary knowledge to succeed in this market, a group from the Higher Diploma in Hotel and Catering Management was sent to Taiwan for an intensive training to learn all about coffee in September 2017. The aim was to offer a platform and let participants learn about the latest trends in “cafe arts” in one of Asia’s leading destinations for coffee culture. Students visited a well-known coffee shop, GABEE, operated by Mr Lin, a multiple champion in barista competitions in Taiwan. They learned how to appreciate coffee and artisanal brewing by tasting and observing the preparation of signature blends. There was also a workshop where they practised roasting and made their own artisanal coffee. To obtain a full understanding, the group also visited a coffee plantation in Gukeng, near Taichung, where they could see the whole cycle from harvesting coffee beans to processing and roasting.

To learn more about the various exchange programmes, please click here.