Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong Helps Underprivileged Students Follow Their Passion For Hospitality

Since 1977, Yan Oi Tong (YOT) has helped underprivileged members of the Hong Kong community and has become one of the six largest charity groups in Hong Kong. With the mission of “Caring for the Aged and Young, Promoting Education and Nurturing Talents, Supporting the Disadvantaged and the Sick, and Serving the Community with Sincerity,” the organization provides social services, education, medical assistance, sports and recreational facilities and supplies, and supports environmental and social welfare projects to community members in need.

As its long term EMBRACE partner and aligning with YOT’s mission to provide educational services to underprivileged community members, Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong unveiled a simulated hotel guestroom at the YOT Chan Wong Suk Fong Memorial Secondary School in April 2018. The simulated guestroom is a replica of one at Kowloon Shangri-La and includes a king-size bed, bedside tables, lamps, a closet with robes and hangers, suitcase stand, and a full bathroom with amenities.

With help from teachers at the school, hospitality and tourism students from low-income communities are able to learn from a simulated hands-on experience.

“Our engineering and housekeeping teams worked tirelessly for months to build this simulated guest room for Yan Oi Tong Chan Wong Suk Fong Memorial Secondary School,” said Philip Dewar, General Manager of Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong.

“We believe that this simulated learning environment will not only teach students the basic room servicing and housekeeping principles, but also lead them to master the fundamental hospitality management skills,” said Patsy Chan, Director of Public Relations and Partnerships and the project curator.

“On behalf of Yan Oi Tong, we are grateful to have the support of the team at Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong, who helped us turn the notion of nurturing talent in a simulated work space into reality,” says Eileen Mok, controller of education services of YOT.

In addition to the hands-on experience, Kowloon Shangri-La also provides support for building and writing resumes, interviewing skills, career planning, arranges on-site visits to see hotel operations, and supplies teachers and students with training videos about hotel operations. Lastly, the hotel participates in a two-year mentorship program, through which colleagues will mentor students during study sessions and shadowing opportunities.

“We hope the students can apply the knowledge they learn under the roof of this people-oriented industry to their family, workplace and society,” said Chan.

Since the success of the simulated guestroom, the school extended the course to the local community. The course now benefits over 1,300 people.

“We are thrilled that this project has been able to help and train so many people, especially those who have the passion to pursue a career in the hospitality industry,” said Dewar.

We wish all the students and participants the best of luck in their budding hospitality career!