Jha presents on luxury hospitality in Thailand
16 Dec 2015
Dipra Jha, assistant professor of practice in Hospitality, Restaurant and Tourism Management, recently traveled to Thailand to deliver a presentation on luxury hospitality in the Asian context. The event was hosted by Dusit Thani College in Bangkok on Nov. 25, 2015, and it was attended by students, faculty and industry professionals. Citing examples from Asian hospitality brands like Mandarin Oriental and Oberoi Hotels, Jha highlighted key attributes like authenticity, personalization and exclusivity that define the luxury guest experience in Asia. He also compared the guest engagement process between Asian hospitality brands and their Western counterparts.
Thailand, a south-east Asian nation of approximately 70 million people, is well known for leisure tourism. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, total contribution of tourism to Thailand’s GDP was 19.3 percent in 2014. This amounts to $65 billion in revenues and supports 2.2 million jobs. Thailand is also an emerging destination for medical tourism.
Established in 1993, Dusit Thani College is a pre-eminent institution in Asia for education and training in tourism, hotel and resort management, meetings and events, culinary arts and spa management. The college has campuses in Bangkok and Pattaya in Thailand, with additional partner campuses in the Philippines. It currently enrolls 3,400 students in hospitality-related undergraduate and master’s programs. The college has partnerships with institutions like the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, Switzerland and its culinary programs are offered in association with Le Cordon Blue, France. It is part of Dusit International, a Bangkok-based hotel and resort conglomerate that operates 29 luxury resorts around the world. Dusit International is expanding rapidly into new markets and will be adding another ten hotels to their portfolio within the next two years.
“It was a wonderful opportunity to hear an international expert like Professor Dipra Jha talk about guest engagement in luxury hospitality,” said Tan Eng Leong, senior vice president of human resources and quality assurance, Dusit International. “This is precisely the kind of educational event Dusit Thani College strives to provide to students as well as hospitality professionals to help them advance their knowledge and their careers.”
During his stay in Bangkok, Jha was also invited to participate in a faculty luncheon at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) School of Business. Founded in 1940, UTCC has strong ties to business and industry in Thailand and serves in various advisory functions to the government. Jha had the opportunity to engage with tourism and business faculty at the school and learn about Thailand’s current efforts to attract high-end tourists with the “Discover Thainess” campaign. Possibility of research and outreach collaboration in hospitality and tourism between UTCC and UNL were also discussed.
Tourism is Nebraska’s third largest earner of revenue from outside the state after agriculture and manufacturing; bringing in excess of $4.5 billion annually and supporting 44,965 jobs. In 2013, tax revenues generated by domestic and international travelers in Nebraska totaled over $627 million. Hospitality, Restaurant and Tourism Management is one of the fastest growing majors at UNL and resides jointly in the College of Education and Human Sciences and the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
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