On 24 to 31 May, the Institute for Tourism Studies’ (IFT) Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training (hereafter the Centre) organised an eight-day training programme titled “Capacity Building for Destination Marketing & Tourism Development”. It is the fifth time of training held by the Centre and United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). A group of 19 representatives from “One Belt, One Road” countries namely Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Mainland China, as well as Macao SAR and UNWTO participated in the programme.
On 31 May morning, the faculty and participants of the training programme had a meeting with Dr. Alexis Tam, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of Macao SAR Government. Earlier in October, 2015, Macao SAR Government and the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Macao to enhance the cooperation between the two parties in improving the quality of human capital and increasing the competitiveness of tourism destinations in order to achieve sustainable tourism development. It also served to facilitate and strengthen cooperation to establish Macao as an international tourism training hub. The Centre, which was officially set up by IFT in 2016, has organised a number of training and education programmes for tourism officials and industry representatives from various countries and regions in collaboration with UNWTO.
In March 2018, IFT and the Training and Education Department of the Directorate of Hotels and Tourism, Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, Republic of the Union of Myanmar signed a Memorandum of Understanding, with the aim to cooperate in promoting sustainable tourism development through enhancing human capital and fostering collaborations in tourism education and training between Macao and Myanmar. Ten officials from the Directorate of Hotels and Tourism, Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, Republic of the Union of Myanmar attended this programme at IFT.
The training programme included lectures, case studies, experience sharing, presentations and site visits. The lectures were delivered by IFT professors and scholars. During the programme, the participants also visited the world heritage sites of the Historic Centre of Macao and attractions in the city to understand the planning and management of tourism facilities in Macao. Besides, they paid a visit to MGM COTAI, the newest integrated resort in Macao, where Ms. Frederica Fok, Vice President of Customer Relationship Marketing and Ms. Catarina Lio, Vice President of Brand & Advertising of MGM, delivered a talk on the theme of destination marketing and branding strategies of MGM.
Established in 1995, the Institute for Tourism Studies, Macao (IFT) offers the most extensive selection of tourism and hospitality related bachelor degree programmes in Macao, and about twenty thousand participants attend its vocational and professional training courses annually. IFT collaborates with 104 universities and tourism organisations around the world, and builds strong links with 500 leading tourism and hospitality corporations to offer internship opportunities to its students. Being the first institution accredited by the UNWTO.TedQual Certification System for tourism education, IFT has now 8 bachelor degree programmes with the Certification. Currently, the Institute has the most number of bachelor degree programmes certified under the System of any tertiary education establishment worldwide. In 2017, IFT became the world’s first higher education institution to pass International Quality Review(IQR) from the UK's Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). IFT has been highly ranked by QS World University Rankings in the subject area of Hospitality and Leisure Management. In addition, IFT has received the Medal of Merit in Tourism from the Macao SAR Government, and twice won the Gold Award in ‘Education and Training’ from the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).