Skip to main content



The HRE programme offers a unique curriculum that integrates theories and practices relevant to both the hospitality and the real estate industries, two interrelated sectors that make significant economic contributions and provide abundant career opportunities.

The programme focuses on developing students’ business knowledge in marketing, talent management, strategy, and finance as well as their practical skills in innovative thinking, interpersonal communication, analytical thinking, and problem solving.

The industry-focused programme enhances experiential learning and industry engagement via various learning activities, e.g., distinguished speaker series, internship, and executive-in-residence courses. International experience is another vital element of the programme. We encourage students to develop a global perspective and realize their potentials through overseas exchange programs, study tours, case competitions and other international learning activities.

Apart from local students, our programme also attracts overseas students from different countries, including Japan, Korea, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Mauritius and Singapore. We focus on building a multi-cultural learning environment that encourages cross-cultural interactions and global thinking.

Developing Visionary and Caring Leaders for the Hospitality and Real Estate Industries

CUHK’s HRE programme is the only business programme in Hong Kong and Asia that integrates hospitality and real estate education.

‘We created a unique programme in the Asia-Pacific region. To the best of my knowledge, no other universities except Cornell offers programmes that integrate these two concepts,’ said Prof. David Chan, Director of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management.

He pointed out that the programme is designed to develop professional leaders for the hospitality and real estate industries. In particular, the school’s vision is to capture the emerging business and career opportunities when the two industries are becoming more connected through property planning and development, business operations, marketing and customer relationship management, technologies, talent training, and many other ties. ‘On one hand, running a hotel nowadays is not just about understanding customers and employees, it also requires knowledge and skills in managing expectations of hotel investors and property owners. On the other hand, many real estate developers are keen on building hotels, serviced apartments, shopping malls and all kinds of commercial properties. To get higher returns from these hospitality assets, property developers and investors also need to understand how people-oriented sectors work,” said Professor Chan.

The programme aims to help students develop critical thinking and a strategic vision for the industries that balances business profitability and the market need for innovation and sustainability. The courses offer a strong business and innovative education for the students. In addition to business foundation courses, the programme also offers industry-focused courses taught by faculty members as well as industry senior executives, such as Real Estate Investments, Real Estate Valuation, Management of Lodging Facilities, Shopping Mall Investment and Management, Food & Beverage Management, Revenue Management, Facilities Development and Management. Professor Chan further emphasized the importance of embracing the innovation opportunities in the hospitality, tourism, and real estate industries and designing creative learning activities for students to develop their leadership competencies. ‘A strength of our programme comes from the reputation and resources of the CUHK Business School,’ Professor Chan commented, ‘We offer a strong academic curriculum. In the meantime, we have an extensive and close industry network and have taken great efforts to engage our students with industry business practices, ensuring that our students are well-recognized among industry stakeholders.’

Through the Distinguished Speakers Series incorporated under the HRE curriculum, senior executives including CEOs, Directors and Presidents are invited to share their business insights with students. Through the series, students do not only gain knowledge from business insiders but also see it as a networking opportunity for their career engagement.

Professor Chan explained that internship is incorporated in the curriculum to equip students with real-world work experiences. Students are required to complete two credit-bearing summer internships prior to graduation. These learning experiences are generally three-month long but also include six-month or longer. Many international internship opportunities are also granted to students.

The majority of students are placed in globally branded hotel chains, theme parks, property developers, real estate and hospitality consulting firms, events and tourism related companies and banks.

In addition, four exclusively designed exchange programmes are offered for students to study in the Asia-Pacific region and North America. The programmes include the Asia-Pacific Hospitality Management Programme, a partnership programme with Thailand’s Mahidol University International College and Australia’s Queensland University, and exchange arrangements with Cornell University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), National University of Singapore and Ritsumeikan Asia-Pacific University in Japan – all of them provide top-ranking hospitality and real estate programmes in the world. The programme has also arranged theme-based study trips and short-term summer courses to Taiwan, Japan, and Australia in the past two years and continues to explore new destinations for cross-cultural and experiential learning.

In order to give students more international exposures and challenges in the real estate stream, the school has been supporting our students to participate in the Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition organized by Cornell University in consecutive years and with our team winning the championship in 2016. The School also hosts the Cornell CUHK Regional Real Estate Competition, Asia since 2018. This is another valuable opportunity for students to interact with overseas students, teachers, and industry experts.

Managed by students and supported by professional chefs and service team members, F&B outlets (The Gastronomy Club and a café named ‘The Stage’) are other special features of the programme. Students have many opportunities to apply their marketing, finance, and HR knowledge and skills on real business situations to solve problems.

Published: Summer 2017
Last Updated: Summer 2019