Hong Kong's Hotel Icon is the only hotel and the sole entry from Greater China to make the final round of the United Nations' World Tourism Organization's Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism 2013.
Founded in 2011, the 262 room Hotel Icon is part of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
The hotel has three food and beverage outlets, a spa, a gym, and an outdoor swimming pool overlooking Hong Kong's iconic Victoria Harbour.
The world's first teaching and research hotel to offer co-located, co-lead hospitality programmes, Hotel Icon is the only hotel among the 13 finalists in this year's UNWTO Awards, which is dominated by non-governmental organizations involved in conservation and government-sponsored tourism promotion initiatives.
The hotel is also one of the few projects making the awards that is commercially sustainable. It earned a place among the finalists for its commitment to integrating teaching, learning, and research into its operations.
Hotel Icon is located adjacent to PolyU's main campus on the Kowloon Peninsula within the East Tsim Sha Tsui tourism district. It has a mandate to maximize revenues, with the profits invested in the education of students from across Asia.
"It is a huge honour to be nominated for this award and a wonderful acknowledgment of the effort our team puts into innovation and training," says Richard Hatter, General Manager of Hotel Icon.
"I am extremely proud that our efforts have been recognized. We are a hotel with a purpose. We develop industry leaders through hands-on training in an open-minded environment. Our purpose-built hotel is their laboratory.
"Being recognized by the wider industry shows that Hotel Icon is a premier property, on par with any hotel in the world."
Other Asian representatives making the finals are Borneo Ecotourism Solutions and Technologies Society from Malaysia and the Korean Tourism Organization from South Korea.
The presentation ceremony for the United Nations World Tourism Organization Awards will take place at Fitur, an international tourism trade fair, in Madrid, Spain, on 22 January 2014.