Dr Aron Harilela is a Director of Harilela Hotels Ltd., a privately owned multinational company that has over 40 years of experience in the investment and development of hotels in the United States, Asia, Europe and Canada. Dr Harilela is responsible for overseeing operations in hotels within South-East Asia and Europe. He is also in charge of acquisitions for the Harilela Group, a family real estate business set up in 1959 that has long been synonymous with the entrepreneurial spirit of Hong Kong. The Group has successfully developed award-winning hotels such as those operated by InterContinental and Sheraton which are well-known around the world.
Dr Harilela is renowned for his achievements in the commercial sector. However, he also has an academic profile. A doctoral graduate in political philosophy from the University of Hull, England, Dr Harilela has written and published several articles on contemporary social and political thought.
Dr Harilela is keen to serve the community, demonstrating strong support for the local business sector over the years. He currently serves as a member of the General Committee of The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce (HKGCC), a member of the Real Estate and Infrastructure Committee, as well as a member of the Healthcare Reform Working Group of the HKGCC. He has recently been appointed Investment Promotion Ambassador for Invest HK.
The education sector in Hong Kong has also benefited from Dr Harilela’s wisdom and generosity. He sits on the Court of The University of Hong Kong, and was the Honorary Vice-President of the Advisory Board of the Business Association Session 2007-2008. He also serves as Court member of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and member of the Advisory Committee of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management (SHTM) of PolyU. In early 2011, the Harilela family generously supported PolyU in the establishment of a scholarship in SHTM for nurturing talents for the thriving industry.
Chairman Yang, University Council Members, President Tong and Honoured Guests,
It is indeed a great honour to receive this Fellowship from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
As you know, I manage a multinational company that has over 40 years of experience in the investment and development of hotels in different parts of the world. From my experience, I believe that professionalism is the key to the sustainable development of the hotel industry. And to enhance professionalism and elevate industry standards, we need a training ground, a centre of excellence in hospitality education to nurture the talents for this thriving industry.
For almost three decades, PolyU has been playing a key role in leading hospitality and tourism education and research. I have been serving on the Advisory Committee of the University’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management since April 2011, and I note that the School has been enjoying a very high reputation and is ranked number two among the world’s top hotel and tourism schools.
With this impressive track record, I am sure the School will be able to nurture the right talents for the industry and make an even greater contribution for its further advancement. I also believe that the School is not too far away from being number one in the world.
I am proud of the part that I have played in the development of this University. I sincerely wish PolyU even greater success in its visionary education, and I look forward to further opportunities to support this institution and to seeing its further advancement and continued contribution to the hotel industry as well as to the betterment of Hong Kong and the region.