Speech by FS at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University Spring Reception (with photos) (English only)
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    Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, Mr Henry Tang, at a spring reception hosted by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre this afternoon (February 10):

Mr (Victor) Lo, Professor Poon, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     I am most delighted to join you this afternoon to celebrate the remarkable achievements of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

     During the past quarter of a century, the school has been a nurturing ground for professionals in Hong Kong's tourism and hospitality industry. It has provided quality education to more than 10 000 graduates, many of them are now leaders in the industry íV not only in Hong Kong but also worldwide. The school's commitment to promoting tourism education and exchange of expertise with institutions worldwide has been well recognised, and I am particularly pleased to learn that the school was ranked the fourth in the world among tourism and hospitality schools.

     After emerging as one of world's most popular tourist destinations in 2004, Hong Kong's tourism industry continued to perform well in 2005 with inbound visitors reaching another new height of 23 million. While we are making new records in visitors arrivals, it is all the more important that we should continue to strive to pursue excellence in the quality of our services.

     Hong Kong has been renowned for the wonderful shopping and dinning experience, and cultural activities it offers in a cosmopolitan city. To further enhance our status as the premier tourist destination in Asia, we must ensure a continuous supply of high quality, industrious and passionate professionals to our tourism industry. In this connection, I am glad to see that the school is embarking on visionary plans to become Asia's leading tourism education institution.

     Looking ahead, new tourist attractions like the "Ngong Ping 360" cable-car project and the Hong Kong Wetland Park will come into operation in the months ahead. And our hotel stock will increase to some 53,000 rooms by the end of this year. All these will mean more opportunities for our tourism industry and the talented graduates of the school.

     I would like to extend once again my sincere thanks to the school for your excellent work and the dedication of your staff to tourism education over the years. I look forward to further distinguished achievements of the school in the years to come. Thank you very much.

Ends/Friday, February 10, 2006
Issued at HKT 18:05

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