Hotelschool The Hague present in Hong Kong

21 June, 2017

Ms Anna de Visser-Amundson (Senior Lecturer and Research Fellow in Marketing) and Mr Huub Ruël (Professor of International Hospitality Business) were delighted to attend and contribute to the third Global Tourism & Hospitality Conference (GTHC) in Hong Kong from 5-7 June. The conference is organised by the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (SHTM) from Hong Kong Polytechnic University and attracts top hospitality and tourism scholars from around the globe. You will be pleased to know that even in this distinguished and international crowd, our school is very well known as one of the top quality educational institutes within hospitality and tourism. Both Ms de Visser-Amundson and Mr Ruël were very happy to share and present four research papers in total.

Ms de Visser-Amundson presented her paper ‘Choosing Taste instead of Waste: Lessons from the field’ which entailed the first results from the rescued soup project which was run in La Mangerie in The Hague from February till April 2017. It is a part of a bigger food waste prevention and rescued food project called “From Waste to Taste”. Her presentation was very inspiring and received many positive comments, feedback and possibilities for future research. It is interesting to see that food waste and all its implications touches many people, even though cultural differences (e.g. Europe vs Asia) might require different strategies on how to tackle it.

During the conference, Mr Ruël presented research on Talent Pools and Human Resource Management innovations in the hospitality industry. He also presented the paper of Mr Lim - as he was not able to attend- on the potential of mobile payment for the hospitality industry. 

Mr Ruël's work on Human Resource Management innovation and Talent Pools is of high relevance since the hospitality industry is a rapidly growing industry internationally. Human Resource Management innovation is not the highest priority in many hotels and restaurants, even though Human Resources and talents are of key importance for high quality service delivery. Human Resource Management innovation can especially make a difference in attracting and retaining the digital natives generation.

A part of the programme was a forum discussion on hospitality and tourism education around the world. Mr Ruël was a forum panel member representing Hotelschool The Hague and presenting views from Europe. Key issues that were discussed were curriculum development, practice-theory integration, industry focused programmes vs. broader academic/society focused programmes, importance of business ethics and the role of applied research.

The conference provided a great and important platform for Hotelschool The Hague to present itself among representatives from hospitality and tourism management programmes from around the world. Higher Education in these programmes is developing rapidly and especially programmes in Asia are on the rise. The most important example is SHTM of Hong Kong Polytechnic University. This school has rapidly emerged over the past number of years as one of the best tourism and hospitality management schools in the world. Its dean, Professor Kaye Chon, is a very ambitious and visionary person. He established a 5 star hotel (Hotel Icon), which is like a ‘living lab’ for the SHTM and a very innovative hotel. It is interesting to see that SHTM clearly chose the path of a research focused school - in terms of research publication rankings, they score the highest. At the same time however, the school is very well linked to operating its own ‘innovation focused’ 5 star hotel ICON. In general, there was a strong call for academics and faculty members to keep their industry experience up to date, which is not achieved through reading but by doing. One UNWTO Ulysses Laureate winner, Jafar Jafari, even suggested that it should be mandatory for all teaching staff in tourism and hospitality programmes to go back and work in the industry after having worked in education for more than 3-4 years! Following this line of thought, we would do good to follow Mr Fagels’ example, as he just spent 6 months at the Good Hotel in London.

Let's not forget to mention that the wines that were served at the conference gala dinner were from Angeliss, an international wine provider. We are proud to report that the GM of Angeliss is no other than Floris de Winter, Alumnus from Hotelschool The Hague.

The conference visit was also an opportunity to meet with Hotelschool The Hague's Hong Kong based interns. On Saturday evening 2 June, Ms de Visser-Amundson and Mr Ruël met with Pim Monninkhof, Fenna Eichel, Wessel Miedema, Lucas Esser, Kirill van der Velde, Pien van Boom and Spike Scheepbouwer (all students from Hotelschool The Hague), at the Harbour Grand Kowloon. They are all doing their internships at very impressive properties such as the Ritz Carlton, Mandarin Oriental and the Intercontinential. We discussed their experiences in Hong Kong and were pleased to hear that they all experienced Hong Kong as a great city to live and work. It should be said though, that some are having a more enjoyable time at work than others, but also these challenges were dealt with in a mature manner. They really enjoyed hearing their stories!

Going forward, we believe it is very important to closely watch the developments in the Asian market especially from an educational perspective. They are very agile and embrace change very quickly.  It was noticed that we are ahead in Europe on several developments, such as sustainability, triple bottom-line thinking and using technology to build more purpose driven businesses. This means there are many opportunities for co-operation and future developments.

A big thank you to Hotelschool The Hague for facilitating this wonderful experience. If you would like to hear more, feel free to get in contact at any moment!

Ms Anna de Visser-Amundson and Mr Huub Ruël


About the author

Anna de Visser-Amundson

Anna de Visser-Amundson, Research Fellow in Consumer Choice Behaviour, obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Switzerland and her Masters Degree in Marketing from the VU University in the Netherlands. Before embarking on an academic career, Mrs. De Visser-Amundson held management positions in both multinational hotel companies and in independent operators in France, United States, Ireland and the Dutch Caribbean. Triggered by the motivation, self confidence and eagerness to learn of many of her Hotelschool interns during her time as Sales and Marketing Director, Mrs. De Visser-Amundson was delighted to accept a position as Senior Marketing Lecturer at the Hotelschool The Hague when she relocated with her family to the Netherlands in 2008.

In summer of 2013, she became a Research Fellow in the research group Strategic Pricing & Revenue Management. She finds great strength in being able to combine her commercial hospitality background with academic insights both when it comes to working with students but also in research. Understanding the challenges and the opportunities in running a hospitality business by 'having been there', gives her a perspective to the research that is difficult to apply if you have not experienced it yourself. Driven by her sales background to get "heads in beds", where understanding the consumer choice process is key to make the deal, Mrs. de Visser-Amundson is particularly interested in how hospitality companies can differentiate their offerings by means of customization, its effect on consumer choice, consumer experiences, perceived value and willingness to pay.

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