Despite China having 2.5 million hotel rooms, the sector still has plenty of capacity to grow. Whereas in the US there are 20 hotel rooms per 1000 people, in China there are just four. The China Hospitality Education Initiative (CHEI) is a charitable project of The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, designed to meet the ongoing growth in the country’s hospitality sector, better preparing students for meaningful hospitality and tourism careers, and thus improving the socio-economic status of the country’s youth. Where Chinese hospitality teaching has traditionally focussed more on theory, CHEI ensures that the practical application, conversational English and soft skills needed for career success are addressed in depth.
This change in focus has been well received. On partner school surveys, 99 percent of teachers and 100 percent of administrators indicated they are satisfied or very satisfied with CHEI programs. Thanks to CHEI, China is developing a generation of hospitality workers ready to meet the challenges and opportunities the sector’s ongoing growth will bring.