Wow, it has been a long time! Apologies on the long delay between articles. We now return you to the program, already in progress. The hospitality industry is a growing field in Taiwan as more leisure facilities open and the number of tourists from mainland China flood the island nation. Many colleges have sought to capitalizes on this growing trend by opening or expanding their colleges of tourism and hospitality. I-Shou University, located right next door to E-DA World has a well recognized College of Tourism and Hospitality. In 2009 the university was ranked second among private universities in Taiwan.
The college offers students the choice of four different bachelor degrees: tourism, leisure management, hospitality management and culinary art. Students take a number of core courses including hospitality management, accounting, economics, statistics, culinary management, foreign language and cultural awareness. I-Shou also provides a number of elective courses focusing on students specific interests from casino and gaming management to hotels, chain restaurant operation and of course theme park management. The faculty have equally diverse educational backgrounds from economics and business to anthropology and communications.
As the college sits right across from a full functioning recreation center, students are encouraged to view the site as a living classroom within which to observe the guest/host relationship. In student’s junior year, they are required to participate in a semester long internship typically at the E-DA World complex next door, either in the mall, one of the hotels or the theme park. Indeed many of the employees are students from the university next door. Upon completion of their degree, students are given priority when applying to hospitality jobs with the E-United Groups affiliated companies. I-Shou’s ability to provide students with a range of educational options for those interested in work in the hospitality industry. Their proximity to a live tourist site filled with every potential service industry, creates a perfect blend of classroom academic study and pragmatic use.
Heading back into the park for a bit, as I mentioned in the first article, E-DA World has done a nice job keeping up with the theming and details. However, as I mentioned in the second article, many theme parks in Asia tend to borrow without regard to copyright laws or intellectual property rights. One of the park’s themed restaurants “Yu-Ki Fast Food” (which could also be translated as Yankee Fast Food) bears a strong resemblance to Islands of Adventure’s Comic Strip Cafe in Toon Lagoon. A comparison could even be made to the Disney Cruise Line’s Animators Pallet. While a comic strip’s iconic black and white boxes are not patented, the similarities between the two restaurants are certainly apparent.
Pulling back out to the larger resort area, E-United Group’s real estate company Eliter International Group is responsible for the building and selling of real-estate on the property. Homes are molded and furnished in different European styles, from Italian looking villas to castle looking fortresses. Homes start at $300,000 US for 650 square feet of living space all the way up to 1.5 million for 1,600 square feet of living space. Many of these homes are two to three stories, with a multiple car garage and some even include elevators.
With its close proximity to the mall, university, schools, hospital and tourist facilities, the E-DA World site provides a unique self contained community. While not as ambitious as Walt’s EPCOT with silent monorails and slick WEDway people movers, E-DA World is a unique site of contained community planning.