The Global Centre of Tourism Education and Training of the Macao Institute for Tourism Studies, in collaboration with United Nations World Tourism Organisation, held its second training programme this year on 6, 7 and 9 Dec 2021, which comprised three webinars based on the theme of “Solutions for Sustainable Tourism Development and Destination Branding in Times of Crisis and Beyond”. This online training programme focused on Sustainable Tourism Development, Strategic/Destination Marketing and Destination Branding.
This training programme was designed for decision-makers from UNWTO member state ministries and administrations of ASEAN countries, plus participants from the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area who were also invited to join. Twenty participants from the six-member states nominated by UNWTO, namely Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam as well as two from the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area enrolled and participated in the programme. The training programme had also attracted about fifty-four views from a tourism audience around the world, with observer participants from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, United Kingdom and Macao.
The presentations by IFTM scholars, Dr. Jack Ly and Prof. John Ap, addressed the key issues and some long-term solutions for sustainable tourism development and planning. Dr. Christy Ng and Dr. Shanshan Qi provided educators’ perspectives and explanations on the theories and tools that can be used in destination marketing and branding. Industry professionals - Dr. Carmen Lam, Principal Consultant of Crikx & Co Limited, a marketing and business consulting company in Hong Kong and Mr. Koen Ruisch, CEO & Marketing Manager of Happy Trails! Asia, a destination management company in Indonesia shared their professional practical experiences and advice in providing strategic marketing and branding solutions, respectively to overcome challenges in times of crisis.
When asked to comment on the key takeaways obtained from the programme, Mr. Vongkeo Siamphone, Officer from the Tourism Development Department, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lao PDR commented that “The training is useful for myself, it opened me widely on the tourism planning and marketing, particularly during the time of crisis”.
Mr. Sopharun Hor, Officer from the Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia appreciated that “The training provided opportunities for the participants to learn from and interact with experts and professionals in tourism. The topics and information presented to the participants are very relevant and useful for their careers in tourism sector, especially in the time of such crisis like this on-going pandemic. I would like to extend my high appreciation to UNWTO and IFTM for organizing this training.”
The Global Centre of Tourism Education and Training Centre was 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 has hosted more than 36 programmes with around 524 participants from 35 countries and regions who have been involved in the Centre’s training activities.