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IFTM students scoop award in Greater Bay Area IT contest

The members of Team Eymo and IFTM Lecturer Mr. Joe Lam Hou Peng
中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

A team of IFTM students won a Second-Class Award in the recent finals of the 5th Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area IT System Development Competition.

The finals were held on 29 November, with 32 teams representing various institutions of higher education competing. The contest was organised by a number of science and technology associations in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, which is also known as the Greater Bay Area. The competition was supervised by the Guangdong Provincial Association for Science and Technology and the Guangdong Science and Technology Department.

The 4 IFTM students in Team Eymo won their place in the finals by finishing among the top 3 teams in the Macao section of the event, held on 30 September. The Macao leg of the contest was organised by Macau International Industrial Technology Development Association.

Team Eymo was made up of Evan Huang Chenwei, Ryan Pan Jianzhong, James Zhang Xuyuan and Jono Jiang Hanyi. They got together in May 2020 to enter the Macao division of the competition, when they were in Year 1 of the Tourism Event Management Bachelor Degree Programme.

“Other participants in the competition were Year 3 or Year 4 students, while the IFTM participants were relatively inexperienced in IT system development,” says IFTM Lecturer Mr. Joe Lam Hou Peng, who teaches computer applications and management information systems courses, and who supported Team Eymo. “Team Eymo’s final result gave us great encouragement, showing that we have been successful in incorporating information and communication technology into our tourism and hospitality management curricula.”

The members of Team Eymo say they shared an interest in technology before the competition, in particular an interest in robotics and artificial intelligence. Two of them had entered IT competitions when they were in secondary school.

The aim of their project for the competition was to put technology at the service of tourism. “Technology is needed to support tourism,” Evan says. “For instance, we can use artificial intelligence to help in analysing flows of people.” Jono points to opportunities to integrate tourism and technology, saying integration can lead to broader development of both industries.

Team Eymo put forward a concept called AiR Smart Tourism (AiR智能旅遊). Their idea was to use wearable gadgetry, such a pair of glasses containing a chip connected to a cloud-based database. The set-up could give tourists easy access to information about the sights they see, such as directions for getting there, and notes on the culture and history of a particular place, with a view to enhancing the quality of their experience.

James, the team leader, says that although the concept may seem straightforward, it took a lot of time and teamwork to perfect the functions and selling points to a stage when the idea could be put into action.

Ryan says the team are thankful to the entire community at IFTM for their backing. “We had lecturers and schoolmates to support us,” he says. “Seeing many senior students and our colleagues coming to show their encouragement, we really felt as one.”

Jono says juggling work on the project with academic tasks at IFTM was challenging. But in the end, it taught him to manage time effectively.

Evan acknowledges some creative friction among teammates. “We did have arguments, but we learned how to work as a team,” he says. “This was a valuable opportunity for us to meet other people and build a network.”

Mr. Lam says entering the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area IT System Development Competition benefited the members of Team Eymo significantly. “They learnt a lot through this challenge,” he says. “In addition to classroom study, participating in competitions is also an effective way of learning.”

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