The Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT) is joining hands with the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) to provide training workshops to civil servants of tourism-related bodies from Portuguese-speaking countries.
This is the second year that IFT collaborates in MGTO’s annual training programme for officials from tourism offices of Portuguese-speaking countries. In 2017, a total of 3 intakes of officials from tourism bodies in Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and East Timor, will receive training in Macao. Each training session – with about 10 participants – will last for 2 weeks and include 2 days of workshops at IFT. The 2017 programme runs until September.
The IFT workshops for the first batch of participants in the scheme took place in May. One of the workshops, held on 18 May, was on tourism quality service. The other one took place on 25 May, and focused on tourism sustainable planning and development. Both courses included field trips respectively to 5-star hotels and non-UNESCO listed tourism attractions in Macao.
The courses were offered by IFT’s Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training. The Centre – officially established in 2016 – is the latest step for positioning the Institute as an international training and education hub.
IFT’s positioning as an international centre for tourism education includes strengthening cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries. This strategy 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.
The workshops aim to provide “additional knowledge and capabilities” in tourism to the participants from Portuguese-speaking countries, says IFT Visiting Professor Dr. John Ap, Director of the Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training. Each workshop is tailor-made based on needs mentioned by participants, he says.
Dr. Ap led the 25 May workshop on sustainable tourism planning and development. The course covered best practices in tourism development and highlighted the need for good management practices to ensure that visitors have an enjoyable experience.
“As [these countries] look to develop tourism, we want to make sure they are given good information on how to plan, design and develop tourism,” Dr. Ap says. “You don’t want to make the same mistakes previously made by others.”
Workshop participant Mr. Diotrofio David Filipe, a tourism marketing official from Mozambique, says this kind of initiative “is beneficial” for Portuguese-speaking countries. He praises the “excellent quality” of the workshops, delivered by “very capable and experienced experts in tourism.”
Mr. Ezaquiel da Costa Babo, from East Timor’s national trade and investment promotion agency, agrees that the courses provided participants with valuable insights into tourism planning. He adds: “These workshops are very useful for East Timor. We are still a young country and, of course, we need workshops like these: I will bring back to my home country what I have learned here about sustainable tourism development and share it with my colleagues.”