PolyU’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) has bestowed the SHTM Lifetime Achievement Award 2020 upon Mr Robert H. Burns, founder of Regent International Hotels, in recognition of his significant contribution to the development of hospitality and tourism. Mr Burns, a longstanding partner of the SHTM, was inducted into the School’s famous Gallery of Honour at the same time.


With a career spanning six decades, Mr Burns is a legendary figure in the hotel industry, and is known worldwide for setting new benchmarks in luxury hospitality. In 1970, he founded Regent International Hotels in Hong Kong, building one of the industry’s most renowned five-star brands. The flagship Regent Hong Kong has been voted the “best hotel in the world” among other international awards. Under Mr Burns’ leadership, the group opened 18 luxury hotels worldwide in 22 years.


Mr Burns has also taught on Stanford University’s MBA programme for 20 years and lectured extensively throughout Asia-Pacific for the US State Department and Pacific Asia Travel Association.


The SHTM Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2016 to recognise leaders who help define the global hospitality landscape and advance the industry.