The Macao Institute for Tourism Studies (IFTM) concluded the Idea-cation 2023 competition with the Awards Ceremony on 12 November. The competition requiring participant to propose innovative tourism solutions, has come to 3rd edition since its inaugural event in 2021. Through its organisation, IFTM aims to cultivate participants' creativity, encourage them to focus on community development, as well as to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in Macao.
This year’s competition attracted 79 participants who were divided into six High School Category teams and 16 University (Open) Category teams. The competition focused on two themes: innovating the Macao’s “1+4” diversification strategy; as well as revitalising rural tourism in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Zhongshan Heng Mei Village). Participants were required to propose innovative ideas to support the tourism industry, with the aim to boost regional economy.
The competition was kicked off in October, by bringing 22 finalist teams to Zhongshan to learn about the region's cultural heritage, resources, and rural revitalisation efforts. They explored a local business incubator and attended seminars to gain insights supporting their research. Before the final competition in November, participants refined their proposals with the guidance from 16 industry and IFTM academic mentors. On 12 November, participants pitched their ideas to a judging panel of eight industry experts and four IFTM academics. In the High School Category, Colégio Diocesano de São José 6 team received the gold award, Santa Rosa de Lima English Secondary School the silver, and Santa Rosa de Lima Secondary School (Chinese Section) the bronze. In the Open Category, the City University of Macau team earned gold, Macau University of Science and Technology team silver, and IFTM team bronze.
Dr. Fanny Vong, President of IFTM, stated in the closing speech that she was impressed by the performance of this year's participants. Their proposals demonstrated thoughtful and creative solutions for enhancing tourism experiences and rural revitalisation. IFTM always aims to nurture the next generation of tourism leaders, problem-solvers, and future entrepreneurs. Competitions like Idea-cation provide real-world learning opportunities for students to develop practical solutions that support local communities and economies.
IFTM sincerely appreciates the collaboration and support from the organising and supporting units of this year's Idea-cation competition, providing participants with abundant learning opportunities. These include Tissue Group Planning, Zhongshan Han Yun Cheng Co., Ltd., Youth Entrepreneurship Incubation Base in Zhongshan E-Park, as well as Hengmei Collective Economic Joint Cooperative.