Tourism school students whip up a cocktail carnival

Students from the Shanghai Institute of Tourism showed off their skills in pub management, wine tasting, street foods and other tourist services.

The Shanghai Institute of Tourism put on a carnival of cocktails, wines, coffee, tea and foods of various countries on May 10 as students from its School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts Management showed off their skills.

At the pub in its training building, some students made cocktails and others served the colorful drinks to “customers” — their teachers or classmates.

By scanning QR codes on coasters with smart phones, customers could read detailed information about the recipes and the history of the cocktails.

“This is a creative idea by students to entertain customers with a better experience,” said Wang Peilai, dean of the School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts Management.

Wang said the pub was managed by about 40 sophomore students, who made all the operational plans — from buying supplies to designing the menu, making the cocktails and serving.

Their teachers watched and gave advice when necessary.

Each student invested 100 yuan (US$15.81) and will be evaluated on their the profits.

Other groups of sophomore students also showcased programs people could enjoy while traveling or in hotels and restaurants, such as coffee and tea culture festivals, street foods, and a wine tasting with wines produced with grapes from America, France, Italy and other countries.

Yang Meiping / SHINE

Students from the Shanghai Institute of Tourism make cocktails.

These are part of the weeklong carnival for all sophomore students to show their talent, according to Kang Nian, president of the Shanghai Institute of Tourism, which is approved by the Ministry of Education as the only national higher vocational school for tourism education.

Kang said the program began in 2013 to better prepare students according to the demands of employers by letting them exercise their skills before heading to internships at hotels, restaurants and other enterprises.

Besides hospitality and culinary arts, the students have also organized other activities, such as tourist guide competitions and an expo of constellation culture. The expo became part of the gulf travel carnival in Fengxian District, where the institute is located.

Founded in 1979, the institute was constructed according to standards for a 3A-level scenic spot, with lakes, artificial karst landscape and training centers mimicking a hotel and an RV campsite.

“We want students to study skills just like in work,” said Kang. “Every building or spot on campus should be a place to teach a course.”

In order to better connect students’ on-campus study with future work, hotels and restaurants were also invited to the carnival.

Earlier in the week, students organized a one-day program for people to experience a one-stop tourism resort, with guidance from leading all-inclusive resort operator Club Med.

On Thursday's street food show, staff from the Renaissance Shanghai Zhongshan Park Hotel also presented dishes like crayfish and Bak Kut Teh — pork bone soup introduced to Southeast Asia by southern Chinese sailors.

Kang said graduates from the institutes are welcomed by luxury hotels and famous restaurants.

“Previously, employers were picky in choosing students,” he said. “But things have changed in the past five years. Employers began to vie for our students, who usually have five to six offers before graduation.”

Kang also said that 68 of the 73 five-star or super five-star hotels had showed up in a fair last week to recruit interns from the school.

Yang Meiping / SHINE

Students from the Shanghai Institute of Tourism prepare snacks.

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