Hotel ICON Makes History at United Nations Tourism Awards

Hong Kong property is first hotel in Asia to be honoured at global awards ceremony

Jan 28, 2014, 09:10 ET from Hotel ICON

HONG KONG, Jan. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Hotel ICON was among the honourees at the prestigious United Nation's World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism 2013, an annual event acknowledging tourism leaders from around the world.

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Hotel ICON was one of the four finalists in contention for the UNWTO Ulysses Award for Innovation in Enterprises, a prize launched in 2003 honouring the world's most sustainable and profitable tourism initiatives. Marking a first for the competition, Hotel ICON is the only hotel in Asia to receive this honour.  Further enhancing its reputation as a ground-breaking property, in 2013 Hotel ICON was the sole candidate from Greater China and also had the distinction of being the only hotel to earn a nomination. The 13 finalists across four categories comprised mainly non-governmental organisations involved in conservation, and government-sponsored tourism initiatives.

A 262-room luxury hotel, Hotel ICON earned a place among the finalists for its commitment to integrating teaching, learning and research. Located in the Tsim Sha Tsui tourism district, Hotel ICON has always been a hotel with a distinct purpose - to become the global centre of excellence in education and research in hospitality and tourism. Providing interactive and dynamic learning environment, Hotel ICON serves as a valuable resource centre, offering hoteliers, students and members of the public invaluable trade insights and industry knowledge, as well as fostering innovation in the hospitality industry. With this latest recognition from UNWTO, this unique business model and collaboration, supported by the Hong Kong government, and implemented by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has been endorsed by one of the most prestigious organisations in tourism industry. 

The UNWTO Awards, created by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), are the flagship awards for the global tourism sector. Every year, they are conferred by the UNWTO and the UNWTO Knowledge Network to highlight and showcase innovation and application of Knowledge in Tourism.

At the UNWTO Awards Ceremony in Madrid, Spain, Hotel ICON was named second runner-up in its category. "We are honoured to have received the UNWTO Ulysses Award for Innovation in Enterprises," said Richard Hatter, General Manager of Hotel ICON. "Hotel ICON is an important facility in training the next generation of hoteliers. It is hoped that the 2,000 students educated here annually will go on to benefit Hong Kong's hotel industry." The credibility of the school, he says, will be measured by the reality of making the hotel commercially viable, with profits being invested into further education.

"To further facilitate research, three prototype guestrooms under the themes of design, innovation, and well-being have been built for experimentation of advanced concepts and creative ideas. A crucial learning experience, these prototypes could be where the guestroom of the future is conceived. This award validates our vision to create a commercially viable, and industry-leading, hotel that is admired by hospitality experts from the world."

About Hotel ICON

Unlike any other, Hotel ICON is an upscale Hong Kong hotel in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui East. Standing as a testament to Hong Kong's creative energy and vibrant arts scene, Hotel ICON showcases work from the city's celebrated designers and the world's most acclaimed architects. Hotel ICON is a very special hotel with an equally special purpose: Not only does it embody all the creative energy and spirit of Hong Kong, it's a "learning environment" on which the aspirations of future hoteliers come to life as part of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and an extension of its School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM). Offering the ultimate in comfort and committed to service excellence, Hotel ICON's 262 stylish guestrooms comprise seductive extras, including complimentary wired and Wi-Fi internet connections and an ultra-slim 40" Ultra High Definition LED TV. Located on level 9, Hotel ICON's Angsana Spa is a tranquil oasis while the harbour-facing outdoor swimming pool and fitness centre allow guests to exercise while enjoying views of Hong Kong Island's spectacular skyline. With a maximum capacity of 580 persons, Hotel ICON's grand Silverbox ballroom is the ideal venue for a celebration or theatre-style conference. Hotel ICON houses three restaurants: Above & Beyond, The Market and GREEN, providing guests with exceptional quality of the food and impeccable service. wallpaper* magazine included Hotel ICON in its 2011 list of the world's Best Business Hotels and DestinAsian included the hotel in its Luxe List 2011. This premier hotel was ranked in the Top 25 Hotels in China and Top 25 Hotels for Service in China in the 2012 and 2013 TripAdvisor Traveler's Choice Awards.

About the UNWTO Awards

The UNWTO Awards were created by the World Tourism Organisation to be the flagship awards for the global tourism industry. They are conferred annually to highlight innovation and knowledge in tourism. The awards are in line with the policies, priorities and programme of the United Nations, including its Code of Ethics for Tourism and the principles in the Eight Millennium Development Goals. The awards finalists represent some of the best examples of tourism leadership, whose exceptional initiatives place them at the forefront of the global tourism industry.

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