Dr. Deborah T. Curtis, CMP, director of Niagara University's Center for Events and Management Development, announced the official founding of Hotel Schools of Distinction during the organization's first meeting March 18 in Helsinki, Finland.
Students from many of the 10 founding schools located around the world participated in the simulcast announcement.
The founding institutions include:
Niagara University, Niagara University, N.Y., USA
Institut de tourisme et d'hôtellerie du Québec; Quebec, Canada
Escuela Universitaria de Hoteleria y Turismo de Sant Pol; Barcelona Spain
International University of Applied Sciences - Bad Honnef; Bad Honnef, Germany
HAAGA-HELIA University of Applied Sciences; Helsinki, Finland
Hotelschool the Hague; The Hague, Netherlands
Purdue Hospitality Management program at IPFW; Fort Wayne, Ind., USA
Florida International University; Miami, Fla., USA
Norwegian School of Hotel Management, University of Stavanger; Stavagenger, Norway
Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola; Lima, Peru
HSD is a global alliance of premier hotel schools in partnership with hospitality industry leaders dedicated to creating high-quality talent by sharing knowledge and research.
HSD recognizes the need for specialized, management-ready candidates to fuel the global growth of the world's most prominent organizations and companies in the hospitality and tourism sector. The discerning hotel and tourism industry is seeking candidates who are flexible and prepared for work in a global market.
Curtis, an executive board member of HSD, explained membership in the organization is limited.
"Hospitality programs must not only meet specific standards of excellence, but their faculty and professional staff must make a commitment to ongoing continuous improvement to ensure that the institution will continue to deliver the highest quality of education to students," she said.
HSD builds on the international platform for member schools that was originally created by Leading Hotel Schools of the World, a joint venture established in 2004 by Niagara University, the Hotelschool The Hague, and Leading Hotels of the World.
Dr. Gary D. Praetzel, dean of NU's College of Hospitality and Tourism Management and one of the original founders of LHSW, noted HSD provides even greater international opportunities and marketability for students. The hospitality and tourism industry is the world's single largest industry.
To learn more about Niagara University's College of Hospitality and Tourism Management, visit www.niagara.edu/hospitality. For info on the Hotel Schools of Distinction, go to www.hotelschoolsofdistinction.com.