DIT to develop hospitality and tourism education in China

13 July, Hainan (China):  Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) today signed an agreement with a group of investors in Hainan (China) to establish the Hainan International Tourism College. The proposed new college will be located on the tropical island of Hainan. The agreement is between DIT, and China Aroma Investment Corporation, a Chinese investment company. The project is in the context of the central government’s Outline Plan of Development of Hainan Island as an International Tourist Destination 2010-2020.

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Professor Brian Norton, President of DIT and  Mr. George Lu, CEO, China Aroma Investment Corporation, sign agreement to establish Hainan International Tourism College as a branch campus of DIT

“This is an important step in the further internationalisation of DIT. It demonstrates the growing worldwide recognition for Irish education in general, and the career orientated focus which has formed the backbone of DIT’s mission, since its inception,” said Professor Brian Norton, President of DIT, following the formal signing ceremony. “The agreement sits well with the Irish government’s strategy for international education and follows the growing trend in higher education of establishing branch campuses around the world,” he added.

Dr Dominic Dillane, Head of the School of Hospitality Management & Tourism added, “DIT has pioneered hospitality management education in Ireland and is recognised as a World Tourism Organisation Centre of Excellence. This development is a strong endorsement of the quality of our programmes but equally importantly, it recognises the high quality of the Irish tourism product which has been developed and delivered by our graduates.”

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Professor Brian Norton and Mr. George Lu

It is anticipated that the college, when fully operational will have up to 5,000 students on a range of hospitality and culinary arts programmes. In addition to building the school the investment company will also build a resort and a hotel which will be operated by a leading chain and will act as a training facility for students. “This is an exciting development for DIT and will present us with many challenges but it also will present us, and more importantly our students in Dublin with opportunities to undertake work placements in Hainan, which will ultimately make them more employable,” said Dr Robert Flood, Head of International Affairs in DIT.

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Dr. Dominic Dillane, Head, School of Hospitality Management and Tourism and Professor Brian Norton with Mr. George Lu and colleagues at the signing of the agreement

Hainan island, a tropical paradise with golden beaches, is currently a popular resort destination for the Chinese market and the government is now seeking to develop it as an international destination, to compete with the major destinations in Thailand and Malaysia.  Similar to Hong Kong and Macao, tourists are no longer required to obtain visas, making Hainan more accessible and attractive to international visitors.

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