The IFT Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training organised in May a training programme on sustainable tourism for representatives from several Asian countries. The course was held in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
A total of 21 representatives from, respectively, Myanmar, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Mainland China and the Macao SAR joined the programme. It was titled “Strategic Tourism Planning and Management for a Sustainable Future”.
The 8-day training course included lectures, case studies, experience-sharing sessions, presentations and site visits. Participants also met with the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, Dr. Alexis Tam.
According to the Centre’s Director, IFT Visiting Professor Dr. John Ap, the programme allowed the sharing with participants of up-to-date information on the latest tourism planning and sustainable tourism trends.
“It provided participants some new ideas and new thoughts as to how to approach the development of tourism in their own countries,” Dr. Ap says.
Programme participant Mr Ye Aung Moe, head of the Directorate of Hotels and Tourism from Myanmar’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, praises the course contents. He says sustainable tourism is important for Myanmar: the country features abundant resources for culture- and nature-based tourism and these should be developed in a systematic and sustainable manner.
“We have learnt about tourism planning, human resources development and management, destination management, cultural heritage management and religious tourism in this workshop,” he says. In his opinion, the knowledge acquired via the IFT workshop will be useful to him in further promoting Myanmar’s sustainable development of tourism.
Another course participant from Myanmar was Dr. Thynn Thynn Myint, a scholar at the Department of Business and Economics in the National Management Degree College. She describes her experience in Macao as “amazing” and says the knowledge and experience received from IFT will be useful in promoting tourism education in Myanmar.
The 8-day training programme was the third of its kind held by the Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training. The Centre was officially set up in 2016 following a memorandum of understanding signed between the Macao SAR Government and UNWTO. The agreement covered topics including the enhancement of human capital for the tourism industry and the promotion of sustainable tourism in the Asia Pacific region.
The Centre provides training and education programmes in cooperation with UNWTO, and takes part in joint tourism research projects. Its aim is to ensure IFT plays a leading role in education and training in Asia, helping to improve the capabilities of tourism officials from countries with developing economies.
“We first identify the needs and interests of participants and then develop a programme according to their needs,” Centre Director Dr. Ap says. He adds that the Centre is also looking at organising short-term seminars for Macao-based organisations so that a greater number of locals can become involved in the Centre’s activities.