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Doctor of Hotel and Tourism Management

Sept 2022 Entry
Programme code: 24036

School of Hotel and Tourism Management

Stream Code

DFN (Full-time)
DPT (Part-time)

Mode of Study Mixed Mode

Normal Duration

3-5 years

Credits Required for Graduation


Initial Registration Credits

HK$89,800 which covers the tuition fees for 6 credits plus the fees for residential workshop and overseas study tour.

Fund Type Self-Financed

Tuition Fee

HK$485,800 per programme

Programme Leader(s)

Dr Deniz Kucukusta


Teaching Postgraduate Studentship (TPS)

The SHTM offers Teaching Postgraduate Studentship (TPS) to selected full-time D.HTM students. The awards are competitive and granted based on academic merit, financial need, previous research and work experience. TPS recipients are expected to participate in teaching, research, administration and other School activities.

Financial Support for Conference Attendance

The SHTM provides financial support on a competitive basis for D.HTM students to attend international conferences to present their research findings. The maximum support offered for an accepted paper is HK$10,000 to cover registration, travel and accommodation expenses related to conference attendance.

Non-means-tested Loan Scheme (NLS)

The NLS offers interest-bearing loans to local full-time and part-time students to cover tuition fees. These loans are not means tested, which means that there is no assessment of family income and assets. Both government-funded and self-financed students can apply before the deadline set by the government. For details, please visit www.wfsfaa.gov.hk.

Continuing Education Fund (CEF)

Three subjects (HTM6002, HTM6004 and HTM6010) have been included on the Continuing Education Fund (CEF) list of reimbursable courses. Eligible applicants will be reimbursed 80% of their fees, subject to a maximum sum of HK$20,000 (whichever is the less), on successful completion of a reimbursable course. For details, please visit www.wfsfaa.gov.hk.


PolyU reserves the right to change or withdraw the TPS/financial support for conference attendance at any time. In case of any dispute/disagreement, PolyU’s decision is final.

The information presented on this page is subject to change and does not form part of any contract between the University and any person.

Aims & Characteristics

Programme Aims

Hotel and tourism management has never been as competitive, dynamic or rewarding a profession as it is now. Industry leaders and educators must develop the skills needed to lead change and to identify and respond effectively to a rapidly evolving work environment. The Doctor of Hotel and Tourism Management develops these skills in exceptional individuals through a programme that focuses on innovation, creativity and the enhancement of research abilities. It is delivered within the unique Asian hotel and tourism context.


Subject emphases are as follows.

  • Tourism and hotel management within a global context.
  • The role of hotel and tourism management within the broader social, economic and political environment.
  • The development of the ability to identify emerging trends.
  • The development of research skills.


This programme is suitable for:

  • Academics who are teaching tourism and hotel/hospitality management;
  • Senior industry executives;
  • Senior staff in national, state and local tourism organisations; and 
  • Senior staff in non-governmental tourism organisations and industry trade organisations.



This is a self-financed credit-based programme offered in a mixed study mode, with the option of studying full-time or part-time. Subjects are designed to accommodate the learning needs of mature and experienced industry leaders and educators who already hold a Master of Science degree in Hotel and Tourism Management or an equivalent qualification.


The programme’s learning and teaching methods are participant centred, with an emphasis on experiential exercises, seminars and self-guided study. Individual subjects are designed to nurture innovation, creativity and research skills in the dynamic field of hotel and tourism management, all within the unique Asian context.

Recognition & Prospects

The School of Hotel and Tourism Management is a pioneer in hotel and tourism education in Asia. Since its establishment in 1979, more than 10,000 students have graduated from the School. Its recent achievements include the following.

  • 2021: For the fifth year in a row, the SHTM was ranked no. 1 in the world in the Hospitality and Tourism Management category in ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects.
  • 2021: For the fifth consecutive year, the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021 ranked PolyU as no. 1 in Asia in the Hospitality and Leisure Management category.
  • 2020: For three consecutive years (2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20), the Field Based Ranking produced by the University Ranking by Academic Performance Laboratory placed PolyU in the top spot in the Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services category.
  • 2017: The School was ranked first for Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism by the Centre for World University Rankings in 2017.
  • In 2009, the School was ranked as the second best hotel and tourism school in the world based on scholarship, according to a study published in the November issue of the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research.


Over four decades of impressive development, the School has established itself as a world-class centre of hospitality and tourism education and research. Its global rankings testify to its success in furthering hospitality and tourism knowledge.


In 1999, the SHTM was designated a global Education and Training Network Centre by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), of whose Knowledge Network the School is a member. Since then, the SHTM has continued to receive worldwide accolades and recognition. In 2001, it became one of the first educational institutions to receive the UNWTO’s TedQual Certification, quality assurance certification for tourism education, training and research.


In 2002, the SHTM became the home of the permanent secretariat of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism (IAST), which works to advance scientific knowledge and understanding of tourism through theoretical and practical research. In 2003, the International Society of Travel and Tourism Educators (ISTTE) honoured the School with the ISTTE Institutional Achievement Award, recognising its significant contributions to tourism education.


In 2012, only a year after the official opening of Hotel ICON, the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (I-CHRIE) bestowed on the School the McCool Breakthrough Award. This award honoured the achievements of Hotel ICON, the ground-breaking teaching and research hotel at the heart of the School’s innovative approach to hospitality and tourism education.


The School’s distinguished faculty are a cornerstone of its success. In 2011, Professor Kaye Chon, SHTM Dean, Chair Professor and Walter Kwok Foundation Professor in International Hospitality Management, was awarded the prestigious UNWTO Ulysses Prize, which is widely regarded as the “Nobel Prize of tourism”.


The School’s staff are not just excellent teachers. They are also very active in the hospitality industry, holding executive or advisory positions in many international, regional, and local tourism organisations, including:

  • Asia Pacific Ecotourism Society
  • Asia Pacific Tourism Association
  • Asia-Pacific CHRIE
  • China Tourism Academy
  • Hong Kong Association of Registered Tour Coordinators
  • Hong Kong Association of Travel Agents
  • Hong Kong Quality Assurance Council
  • Hong Kong Wine Judges Association
  • Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals
  • Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International
  • Institute of Hospitality
  • International Academy for the Study of Tourism
  • International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education
  • International Institute of Forecasters
  • International Recreation and Vacation Society
  • International Society of Travel and Tourism Educators
  • International Sociological Association
  • Meeting Professionals International
  • Pacific Asia Travel Association
  • SKAL International Hong Kong
  • Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong
  • United Nations World Tourism Organisation


The Doctor of Hotel and Tourism Management programme has passed the World Tourism Organisation’s TedQual audit and received accreditation.


Programme Structure

The DHTM programme offers two streams of study and an integrated study option to better cater to the needs of students. The “Industry" stream includes two high level management subjects, and the "Academic/NTO" stream has a stronger emphasis on research and teaching. The integrated study option allows students to complete one subject from each of the Specialist Streams.  


Students need to complete 5 Compulsory Subjects, 2 subjects from the Specialist Streams on offer, 2 Elective Subjects, a Residential Workshop and a Thesis.


Core Areas of Study

The programme consists of Compulsory Subjects, Specialist Subjects, Elective Subject and a Thesis.


Compulsory Subjects

  • Theories & Concepts in Tourism#
  • Environmental Analysis & Strategies in Hotel & Tourism Management#
  • Asian Paradigm in Hospitality Management
  • Quantitative Research Methods for Hotel & Tourism Management
  • Qualitative Research Methods for Hotel & Tourism Management
  • Independent Study in Hotel & Tourism Management 


Specialist Subjects under Academic/NTO Stream

  • Hotel & Tourism Management Research Seminar
  • Hotel & Tourism Management Education


Specialist Subjects under Industry Stream

  • Innovations in Hospitality Management Solutions#
  • Hotel & Tourism Senior Executive Seminars


Elective Subjects

Students can select 1 subject from the following:

  • Specialist Subjects
  • Advanced Research Methods for Hotel and Tourisms 
  • Subjects from the MSc in International Hospitality Management and MSc in International Tourism and Convention Management
  • A maximum of 1 Doctoral level subject from outside the SHTM with approval of the Programme Leader
  • Students who have not successfully completed an MSc level Research Methods subject must take HTM582 - Research Methods as one of their elective options.



The Thesis is divided into two parts: a proposal (Thesis I) and the formal thesis (Thesis II). Thesis must be submitted in English. 


#This subject is included on the Continuing Education Fund (CEF) list of reimbursable courses.

Entrance Requirements

  • An MSc in Hotel and Tourism Management or the equivalent; 
  • A minimum of 1 year of full-time teaching experience in tourism and/or hotel management at a recognised post-secondary institution plus at least 1 year of work experience at supervisory or managerial level in the hotel, tourism or related industries;
  • Substantial and relevant work experience (of normally not fewer than 3* years at the supervisory or managerial level in the hotel, tourism or related industries);
  • At least 3* years of teaching experience in tourism and/or hotel management.

Unless an applicant is a native speaker of English, or his/her Bachelor's or Master's degree or equivalent qualification is awarded by an institution where the medium of instruction is English, s/he is required to meet one of the following requirements:

  • a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of at least 92 for the Internet-based test, or 580 for the paper-based test, or 237 for the computer-based test OR
  • a Band Score of at least 6.5 overall in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).


Individual cases will be considered on their own merit by the department. Applicants may be required to attend interviews or tests to further demonstrate their language proficiency.


All applicants should also submit the following documents together with a completed online application form: 

  • A Master’s degree graduation certificate (see notes below);
  • Copies of transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (see notes below);
  • Proof(s) of past and current employment record(s);
  • A self-recommendation letter that includes a self-introduction and covers career aspirations and reasons for pursuing study in the programme (400 words or less);
  • One letter of recommendation from either your employer or your university.



  1. Applicants who obtained their qualifications from the Chinese mainland are required to provide an Academic Credential (学历证书) to prove that they have completed their academic learning in an institution within the Ministry of Education (MoE) system, and were admitted to the institution in accordance with the standards stipulated by the MoE. 
  2. Further to the above, the applicants concerned are also required to provide a Degree Certificate (学位证书) to certify their level of academic attainment (i.e. Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate level) and to confirm that the certificate was issued by the tertiary institution approved by the MoE.
  3. If applicant's graduation certificate(s)/academic transcript(s) is/are not written in English, s/he should provide an official translated copy of each graduation certificate or academic transcript in English to serve the admissions purpose. Otherwise, the application may not be considered.  
  4. Our School considers applications on a rolling basis until all places are filled. Applicants are encouraged to apply for admission as early as possible.


For general information, please contact:
Mr Jason Chau (tel: (852) 3400 2198; email: jason.chau@polyu.edu.hk);
or Miss Julianna Ching (tel: (852) 3400 2220; email: julianna.ching@polyu.edu.hk).


For further information on academic matters, please contact:
Dr Deniz Kucukusta (tel: (852) 3400 2296; email: deniz.kucukusta@polyu.edu.hk).


Alternatively, please visit the SHTM's website at www.polyu.edu.hk/htm/dhtm.