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Macao SAR Government, UNWTO to extend tourism education memorandum of understanding 23/10/2018

The Macao SAR Government and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) have agreed to extend – by 1 year – the validity of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on tourism education and training cooperation. The Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT), via its Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training, is playing a cornerstone role in the implementation of the existing MoU and the work to be conducted in the extension period.


An amendment to the original document, confirming the extension, was officially agreed on 23 October, between the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Dr. Alexis Tam Chon Weng, and UNWTO’s Secretary-General, Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, during the Global Tourism Economy Forum, in Macao. The original protocol – signed in October 2015 – was scheduled to lapse on 31 December, 2018. An extension has been agreed for an additional 12-month period, until 31 December, 2019, renewable. The original 3-year MoU was designed to enhance cooperation between the Macao SAR and UNWTO in the field of tourism education. It called for the enhancement of the quality of human capital in the tourism industry and the ability of tourism destinations to formulate policies, regulations and mechanisms to ensure the competitiveness of destinations and the promotion of sustainable tourism in the region.


The Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training, set up by IFT in 2016, was given the job of fulfilling the objectives set out in the MoU. The Centre organises training and education programmes, as well as other projects, in collaboration with UNWTO. It has coordinated a total of 5 training courses between 2016 and May 2018, with a total of 111 participants, including representatives from governmental bodies, the tourism industry and the education sector. Participants have come from Afghanistan, Bhutan, Cambodia, Iran, Fiji, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu, Mainland China, the Hong Kong SAR and the Macao SAR, as well as from UNWTO. Topics covered by the training programmes have included: capacity building regarding supply of tour guides for international visitors; training for government and public officials regarding the building of tourism capacity within jurisdictions; strategic tourism planning and management; and capacity building in the fields of destination marketing and tourism development.


The training programmes provided by the Centre usually include lectures, case studies, experience-sharing sessions, presentations and site visits. A new course is scheduled to take place in November, in collaboration with UNWTO, featuring predominantly participants from Portuguese-speaking countries.


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