On 1 July 2017, witnessed by President Xi Jinping, the National Development and Reform Commission and the governments of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao signed the Framework Agreement on Deepening Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Cooperation in the Development of the Greater Bay Area. The Framework Agreement mentioned deepening tourism cooperation and assisting Macao in developing into a tourism education and training base for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. In the Policy Address for the Fiscal Year 2018, the Macao SAR Government also proposed to enhance the comprehensive quality of tourism education and build a tourism education and training base in Macao. In regard to social affairs and culture, the Policy Address clearly encouraged educational institutions to seize the opportunities brought about by the Belt and Road Initiative, the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and various regional cooperation mechanisms, so as to further promote the exchange and cooperation among educational institutions in Macao and abroad, and facilitate the construction of the tourism education and training base.
In recent years, driven by the tourism industry, the quantity and quality of higher education courses and professional training of tourism offered by Macao universities and colleges have been continuously improved, attracting excellent teachers and researchers. Macao is playing a leading role in the tourism education in Asia. It not only has internationally recognised courses and tourism and leisure buildings rare in the world offering a superior learning, internship and training environment, but also gathers experienced senior management talents in tourism and hospitality from all over the world. Therefore, as an important support to integrate into the development of the Greater Bay Area, the tourism education and training will consolidate Macao's tourism education status and leverage Macao's strengths to meet the needs of the country.
The promulgation of the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area by the State Council on 18 February 2019 signified a new milestone in the development of the Greater Bay Area. According to Section 1 Developing an Education and Talents Hub in Chapter Eight Developing a Quality Living Circle for Living, Working and Travelling, it is clearly stated that the experiences and strengths of Macao in tourism education and training and in developing its tourism industry should be leveraged to develop a tourism education and training base for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
Along with the earlier promulgation of the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the Macao SAR Government decided to formulate an annex to Macao’s Five-year Development Plan, based on its first such plan, in order to further align with the national master plan. The annex, titled “The Macao Special Administrative Region’s Participation in the Construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area”, was officially announced on 6 June. The fourth part of the key work of promoting education development in the second special section of the annex proposes once again to make use of Macao's advantages of multiple modern comprehensive tourism sites, excellent teachers and infrastructure in tourism education to make Macao the Tourism Education and Training Base for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.