Institute News

Global tourism education platform

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

IFT’s Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training is now up and running, having organised its latest official event in November.

“Tourism Capacity Building for Government and Public Officials” was held at IFT from 14 to 21 November. The training programme had a total of 21 participants. Of these, 17 came from outside Macao, namely: Afghanistan; Bhutan; the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; Iran; Mongolia; Nepal; Papua New Guinea; and Mainland China.

The remaining participants included 2 representatives from the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) and 2 representatives from the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Macao), a body also known as Forum Macao. One of the participants in the programme was East Timor’s Delegate to Forum Macao.

IFT Visiting Professor Dr. John Ap led the 8-day programme, held in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Dr. Ap heads the Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training.

He says: “We are trying to provide some basic understanding of the true nature of tourism, rather than follow many of the misconceptions that exist. More is not necessarily better. What is important is the quality of your tourism.”

Mutual understanding

The Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training was first announced in October 2015, as a partnership between the Macao SAR Government and the UNWTO. The agreement envisioned enhancing the skills and developing the talent of people working in the Asia Pacific tourism sector, and promoting sustainable tourism regionally. The Centre was officially established a year later.

The Centre’s role includes strengthening cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries. This aligns with the Macao SAR Government’s efforts to promote the city as a cooperation platform between the People’s Republic of China and Portuguese-speaking countries, and as world centre of tourism and leisure.

Ms. Jiang Jiawei was among the Mainland China delegates in November’s training programme. She is Assistant Director of the Monitoring Center for UNWTO Sustainable Tourism Observatories at Sun-Yat Sen University in Guangdong Province.

“Sun Yat Sen University – in terms of research capacity in the tourism industry – now ranks No. 1 in Mainland China,” she says. “[Joining this type of course] is very important for us in engaging both industry people and researchers.”

Ms. Isabela Bento Manhão, Market Coordinator at the Marketing Division at MGTO – who graduated from IFT in 1999 – also joined the programme. “It was a very interesting week, spent with all the colleagues from different countries. We got an opportunity to understand how they do their tourism promotion. For me that was interesting, because ideas that I heard – if adapted – can probably be used in Macao.”

She adds: “Looking at Bhutan, for example, they are a big country, but their population is small like Macao’s. But they have good tourism strategies applied, from which they can provide quality tourism for the visitors.”