On September 20, Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), led a delegation to the Macao Institute for Tourism Studies (IFTM) to attend the closing ceremony of the 15th IFTM-UNWTO training programme. The delegation, which included UNWTO Executive Director Natalia Bayona and Regional Department for Asia and the Pacific Director Harry Hwang, expressed their recognition and congratulations on the successful organisation of the training programme. IFTM President Dr. Fanny Vong, Director of School of Hospitality Management Dr. Clara Lei and Acting Director of the Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training Judy Wong welcomed the delegation.
The 15th IFTM-UNWTO Training Programme focused on “Leveraging the Meeting Industry and Gastronomy to Champion the Agenda of Sustainable Tourism Development” bringing together renowned scholars and top management from various enterprises and industry associations to guide participants to discuss and explore how to promote tourism towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This edition was specifically tailored to the context of ASEAN countries. It included management-level government representatives from Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Vietnam, industry practitioners and tertiary educators from the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area as participants; and Master Coordinator of Basque Culinary Center David Mora Gómez, Japan Chief Executive Officer of Ducasse Paris Jean-Philippe Zahm, Head of Research and Education of Indonesia Gastronomy Network Ismayanti Istanto, President of the Academy of Gastronomy Japan Sakiko Yamada, Chief Executive Officer of ROCKCHEF RockHun Kim, Sun Yat Sen University Prof Xiaoming Zhang, Chairperson of the Macau Fair and Trade Association Synthia Chan, MGM China Senior Vice President of Hospitality Dr. Iwan Dietschi, Executive Director of Sustainability and Environmental, Social & Governance of Wynn Macau and Wynn Palace Ruby O, President of Art, Painting and Calligraphy Association of Macau Dr. Lee Chau Ping, IFTM Prof Leonardo (Don) A.N. Dioko, Prof Penny Wan, Assistant Prof Ubaldino Couto, Assistant Prof Sherry Tan, Assistant Prof Hazel Xu, Assistant Prof Joe Zhou, Dr. Tammy Ku and Mr. Miguel Gassmann de Oliveira as speakers.
With a devotion to cultivating talents for economic growth, inclusive development, and sustainable development of the tourism industry, IFTM has been working closely with different international partners since its establishment. Its collaboration with the UNWTO has lasted for more than a decade, through jointly organising various types of academic activities, such as seminars, conferences, trainings and internship programmes, to provide participants with cutting-edge international learning resources and networks. In 2016, following a memorandum of understanding signed between the Macao SAR Government and UNWTO, IFTM established the Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training to carry out cooperative projects with the UNWTO.
From the outset, the Centre has been organising two training programmes in collaboration with the UNWTO per year. Each programme is meticulously designed to cater to specific countries or regions. Over the past few years, the Centre provided training to participants from diverse regions such as Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, and Pacific Island countries. This effort has engaged over 600 government representatives and industry professionals from approximately 40 countries and regions, demonstrating the Centre’s commitment to fostering global connections and knowledge sharing in the field of tourism.
Furthermore, the Centre has also participated in the annual training initiative between Macao Government Tourism Office and the Permanent Secretariat of the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and the Portuguese-Speaking Countries, in organizing courses for tourism officials from Portuguese-speaking countries.