The Master of Science in Global Hospitality Business (MGH) programme was selected as the McCool Breakthrough Award recipient for 2020 by the International Council of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (I-CHRIE), the world's largest organisation of hospitality and tourism educators, for its innovative approach of this graduate degree programme. The tripartite programme is jointly offered by the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, École hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) in Switzerland and the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston (UH) in the USA.

In granting the award, the Award Committee acknowledged that "the cross-cultural, three-continent approach that includes immersion in business projects, certification, and field trips to global business hubs is certainly distinctive and noteworthy. It is unquestionably a unique approach to hospitality graduate education".

The one-of-a-kind MGH programme has successfully run for five years since inception. Launched in 2015, it was the first time that the three world-leading institutions, representing the best of the East and the best of the West, have joined hands to help define the future of global hospitality development.

This innovative educational strategy allows students to spend one semester in each of the three continents - Europe, Asia and North America - capitalising on three outstanding faculties and campuses. It provides students with exposure to three distinct markets and three diverse cultures to develop their hospitable attitude and construct their management toolbox. With an unparalleled global educational experience, the MGH is able to facilitate students to truly "think global, act local".

"We are deeply grateful to I-CHRIE for having recognised us with this prestigious award," Professor Kaye Chon, SHTM Dean, Chair Professor and Walter and Wendy Kwok Family Foundation Professor in International Hospitality Management, said. "In a world that has become very connected, it is vital for future hospitality leaders to have strong international perspectives to excel in the dynamic global environment. The SHTM is privileged to join hands with the EHL and UH to nurture talents to define the future development of the global hospitality landscape."

The SHTM has made a lasting mark on hospitality and tourism education by being a three-time recipient of the McCool Breakthrough Award. The School previously received the award in 2012 for its groundbreaking approach to hospitality education with the opening of Hotel ICON. In 2017, Dean Kaye Chon received the award for founding the annual Graduate Education and Graduate Student Research Conference in Hospitality and Tourism.

The McCool Breakthrough Award is given to an individual, group, programme, school, college, association or corporation that has made a significant breakthrough or introduced a unique approach in the spirit of I-CHRIE's mission. The award recognises an event, activity, or programme in memory of Willie McCool, a dedicated and successful astronaut and son of Audrey and Barry McCool, faculty members at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

About PolyU School of Hotel and Tourism Management

For 45 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 2023 for the seventh consecutive year; placed No. 1 globally in the "Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services" category in the University Ranking by Academic Performance in 2022/2023 for six years in a row; rated No. 1 in the world in the "Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism" subject area by the CWUR Rankings by Subject 2017; and ranked No. 1 in Asia in the "Hospitality and Leisure Management" subject area in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024, 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 20 countries and regions around the world, 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.