IFT hosted in June – for the first time – a training workshop tailor-made for participants from Portuguese-speaking countries, also known as the Lusophone nations. The programme on tourism planning and development was aimed at representatives of tourism-related government bodies from Lusophone countries.
The workshop was part of IFT’s ongoing work to support the Macao SAR Government’s efforts to promote the city as a commercial and trade co-operation service platform between the People’s Republic of China and Portuguese-speaking countries.
The programme was headed by IFT Visiting Professor Dr. John Ap. Before becoming an academic, he was a town planner specialising in recreation and tourism planning. He has also served as a consultant to several organisations, including the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) and the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO).
“We provided participants with an introduction to what is involved when we plan and develop for tourism,” says Dr. Ap. “I shared with them some basic principles about tourism planning and design, namely about order, coordination, balance and establishing an appropriate experience [for visitors]… Ultimately, you want to ensure that the tourist has a wonderful and memorable experience when they come to visit,” the IFT scholar explains.
“This was a very valuable workshop and will help us improve our tourism planning,” says participant Mr. Amostra Alfandiga, a representative from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Mozambique. “We discussed several topics related to tourism planning and development, and the value chain in the tourism sector,” he adds.
The 10 participants in the workshop were in Macao at the invitation of the Macao Government Tourism Office, for a 2-week training opportunity.
The IFT workshop had 2 sessions. In the morning one, participants discussed the guiding principles of tourism planning, different approaches to tourism development, and related operational and technical requirements. During the afternoon, the group and Dr. Ap toured and studied several tourism attractions in Macao, and then discussed tourism planning strategies relevant to those respective attractions.
IFT plans to continue providing training courses to representatives of Portuguese-speaking countries. The aim is to enhance exchanges and mutual learning between Macao and Lusophone countries in relation to tourism.