China hotel chain learns secrets of céad míle fáilte

A top hotel chain in China plans to add a céad míle fáilte’ to its own five-star brand of oriental hospitality.

Ten executives of Gloria Hotels & Resorts flew home from Shannon yesterday after a week-long intensive course at the Shannon College of Hotel Management, which has educated some of the leading hoteliers in the world.

The Gloria Group runs 63 four and five-star hotels, mainly in China but also in Malaysia and Japan, and employs 15,000 people. It is adding up to 20 hotels to its portfolio each year.

The week-long programme — with modules including branding, cost management and strategy — is the first executive education course undertaken by a Chinese international group at an Irish higher education institute.

Almost 50% of students at Shannon come from abroad — 70% of whom come from China.

The director of the Shannon College of Hotel Management, Phillip Smyth, said: “The Gloria Hotel Group want to learn more about the Irish way of hotel-keeping, which is the best in the world. China is working hard on developing its own hotel offering and they want to learn more about how we do it. They are particularly interested in what we do at customer service.”

Julia Shi, senior training manager with Gloria Hotel Groups, said the international renown of the Shannon College prompted the senior executives to come to the region.

She said: “Our vision is to become the best hotel management group in Asia. Shannon College is well known in China and worldwide and we came here to learn about the western culture of hotel management.”

CEO of the Shannon Group plc Neil Pakey said that the visit by the hotel executives shows that Shannon College now has a really strong executive education product as well as a third-level education one.

He said: “The fact 10 executives were willing to travel from China to Shannon for a course shows the enormous potential for Shannon College to develop executive training programmes for international hoteliers. The college has an incredible global standing and clearly has the expertise to deliver courses not just to under graduates but experienced executives.”


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