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UNWTO Secretary-General visits IFT and meets with Institute’s management team
11/5/2018 2674/044REL /RP/18

The Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, visited the Mong-Há Campus of the Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT) on 23 October. Mr. Pololikashvili also met with the management of IFT. The 2 sides discussed potential opportunities for further cooperation, including at postgraduate education level.


During the visit to IFT, Mr. Pololikashvili was accompanied by a delegation of officials from UNWTO. Its members included: Executive Director Mr. Zhu Shanzhong; Special Advisor on Education to the Secretary-General, Mr. Rui Zhou; and the Director of UNWTO’s Regional Department for Asia and the Pacific, Mr. Jing Xu.


The visiting delegation was welcomed by IFT President Dr. Fanny Vong. She was joined by a group of scholars from the Institute, including bachelor degree programme coordinators and the Director of the IFT Tourism Research Centre, Dr. Leonardo ‘Don’ Dioko.


IFT is a long-standing partner of UNWTO. In April 2013, the 2 parties signed a cooperation agreement, which helped further strengthen mutual ties.


In 2016, the IFT Library became the first such academic facility in Hong Kong, Macao and Chinese Taiwan to be included in the UNWTO Depository Library programme. The initiative aims to expand public access to reports and other publications produced by UNWTO.


Other recent examples of cooperation between IFT and UNWTO have included the participation of UNWTO officials in seminars and academic events hosted by the Institute; and the offering to IFT graduates of internship opportunities at the UNWTO headquarters in Madrid, Spain.


The Institute, via its Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training, has also been a cornerstone for implementation of an existing memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Macao SAR Government and UNWTO, on tourism education and training cooperation. Under the MoU, the Centre, set up by IFT in 2016, organises training and education programmes, as well as other projects, in collaboration with UNWTO. The scheme aims to help tourism officials and industry professionals to enhance their knowledge and skills.


The original MoU – signed in October 2015 – was scheduled to lapse on 31 December, 2018. An extension has been agreed for an additional 12-month period, running until 31 December, 2019. There is the possibility of further renewal after that date.

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