The Global Centre of Tourism Education and Training of the Macao Institute for Tourism Studies (IFTM) successfully held virtually a training programme on 14 – 15 June 2022 on “Capacity Building for Sustainable Cultural Heritage Management”.
As Macao serves as a Commercial and Trade Co-operation Service Platform between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, this on-line training programme is targeted at Portuguese-speaking tourism professionals, namely: decision-makers in government tourism ministries and national tourism organisations; managers of destination management organisations (DMOs); and local tourism bureaus as well as those responsible for the oversight and management of cultural heritage resources. With the support from the Permanent Secretariat of Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Macao), seventeen participants from seven Portuguese-speaking countries participated, namely Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, Timor-Leste, Mozambique and Sao Tome and Principe. The training also attracted views from observers from the Belt and Road countries, including tourism or education professionals from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Chinese Mainland and Macao SAR.
Cultural heritage resources are valuable for the community and tourism industry and should be well protected and managed. Otherwise, it is very likely that such resources will experience deterioration and may even disappear. To ensure the long-term sustainability of cultural heritage resources, the programme focused on themes such as Cultural Heritage Management and Heritage Impact Assessment.
Dr. Vicky Chen and Dr Imon Dr. Sharif Shams Imon from the Macao Institute for Tourism Studies provided an overview on the need to understand heritage and the application of Heritage Impact Assessment. Ms. Carla Figueiredo from the Department of Cultural Heritage of Cultural Affairs Bureau, Macao SAR introduced examples on the management and conservation of Macao’s Heritage. The two-day programme was moderated by Dr Ubaldino Couto and Dr. Henrique Ngan from Macao Institute for Tourism Studies.
This was the first time that training was organised virtually by the Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training for the Portuguese Speaking Countries. The feedback received from participants were very positive. Ms. Alice Caridade Assis Belo from Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Environment of Angola commented that “The programme was well designed, presented and carried out, it was an added value to learn the experience about Cultural Heritage Management in Macau”. Mr. Humberto Lima from Cultural Heritage Institute of Cabo Verde added that “What I learned in the training is extremely important for sustainable tourism planning in Cape Verde, the program provided us with tools and knowledge to increasingly affirm that the relationship between tourism and heritage is beneficial when interaction strategies are adopted so that it is sustainable and balanced”.
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. The Centre has hosted more than 39 programmes, including 13 with collaboration with UNWTO, 22 for the Portuguese-Speaking Countries, and 4 Executive Development Programmes and other training activities, with around 595 participants from 38 countries and regions who have been involved in the Centre’s training activities.