e at IFT aim to make the Institute’s international outlook count as a positive differentiator in the educational services sector. We strive to ensure that all our activities – from curriculum development to research – are infused with an international spirit.

Each day, many people from around the world meet at IFT to share ideas and spread knowledge. The Institute offers undergraduates a learning environment with a genuinely international outlook, aimed at enhancing their employability and increasing the quality and relevance of our research.

IFT’s emphasis on building awareness of the Institute’s work internationally complements its dedication to nurturing the next generation of leaders for Macao’s tourism industry, along with other professionals qualified to work in the sector. We recognise in particular that if local students want to be competitive internationally in their chosen field of work, then engaging with overseas students and scholars prior to graduation is important. It is part of an ‘internationalisation at home’ strategy.

The knowledge and experience of our multicultural academic team help broaden the horizons of our students. Additionally, the Institute has access to a vast international network linking it to 101 universities and tourism organisations in 30 countries and regions. Each year, the Institute also welcomes a number of full-time overseas undergraduates and exchange students, further contributing to the creation of a campus with an international atmosphere.

Better to prepare our undergraduates for the challenges of a globalised tourism industry, IFT has taken a number of important steps. Our curricula are benchmarked against international standards and best practices, to provide students with all the tools required to succeed in their careers and pursue further studies either at home or overseas.

In addition, we encourage students to take part in overseas internship and exchange programmes – and provide them with scholarships for that purpose. We also encourage their participation in academic conferences, field trips and cultural immersion programmes overseas.


Many IFT undergraduates join short-term programmes outside Macao during the summer break from academic study, getting a chance to broaden their horizons and to learn more about tourism-related topics. A number of these courses are co-organised by IFT in partnership with some of the Institute’s international partners. International exchange programmes attended by students in the summer of 2016 included:

– Tianjin Cultural Exchange Programme for Macao University Students 2016
Tianjin, Mainland China

– Xinjiang Ethnic Cultures
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Mainland China

– Destination Shaping and Experience Design
Breda, the Netherlands

– Eco-awareness and Tourism Sustainability
Chicago, Illinois, United States

– Portugal Tourism: Heritage and Creativity
Peniche, Portugal

– Wine and Gastronomy Summer School 2016
Douro region, Portugal

– 18th Bahrom International Programme
Seoul, Republic of Korea

– 2016 CAU Summer International Programme
Seoul, Republic of Korea

– 2016 Korean Summer Session – “The Second Heart of Korea – Busan”
Busan, Republic of Korea



IFT signed agreements with several new academic partners in academic year 2015/16, including: the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Hong Kong, Zambia’s Hotel and Tourism Training Institute and Chung-Ang University in the Republic of Korea.



These included high-profile hotels in Europe, the United States and New Zealand. Currently, 500 organisations worldwide respectively offer internship placements to IFT students.



Our faculty includes academics from all around the world, who work together with our seasoned team of highly qualified staff from Macao


IFT collaborates with some of the world’s leading tourism schools to provide – via its Executive Development Programme – short courses for industry executives. The courses cover the latest trends in hospitality management.

IFT offered 2 courses under the scheme in academic year 2015/16. The Institute hosted in May a course on leadership and motivation led by Dr. J. Bruce Tracey, Professor in the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, in the United States. In August, Mr. André Mack, Director at Lausanne Hospitality Consulting, Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, in Switzerland, conducted a programme on strategic resilience.

The Executive Development Programme scheme also helps to promote development of the tourism sector in Asia. Some of the courses held recently have welcomed representatives of tourism-related government bodies from Asian countries. The countries concerned were nominated by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to send such study delegates. The initiative follows an agreement signed between IFT and UNWTO in 2012, as well as a memorandum of understanding signed between the Macao SAR Government and UNWTO in 2015, in which the parties involved agreed to collaborate to enhance cooperation and promote regional exchanges of knowledge.


The recent establishment of IFT’s Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training is the latest step for positioning the Institute as an international training and education hub. This and other measures aim to ensure IFT is – and remains – relevant globally in those fields.

A long-term goal of IFT is to be recognised as a platform for tourism education and training in the Asia Pacific region. Accordingly, the Institute has established a Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training.

The initiative was announced in October 2015, in a memorandum of understanding signed then between the Macao SAR Government and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The agreement covered topics including the enhancement of human capital for the tourism industry and the promotion of sustainable tourism in the Asia Pacific region.

The centre provides training and education programmes in cooperation with UNWTO, and also carries out joint tourism research projects. Its aim is to ensure Macao plays a leading role in education and training in Asia, helping to improve the capabilities of tourism officials from countries with developing economies.

The Institute is involved in the Cultural Heritage Specialist Guide Training and Certification Programme, a UNESCO initiative unique to the Asia Pacific region and that was launched in 2005.

As the regional focal point for the scheme, IFT has provided consultancy and helped to implement and customise the specialist guide training programme for a number of World Heritage sites in Asian countries and regions, namely Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Mainland China and the Macao SAR.

In addition, IFT links with other bodies for provision of tailor-made courses relating to heritage interpretation. In June 2016, the Institute organised a 7-day professional training programme for a group of 20 heritage guides from Angkor, in Cambodia. Additionally, 4 officials from the APSARA National Authority – the Cambodian management authority responsible for the protection of the Cambodian temple complex – attended the Macao-based course. It was offered in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

The programme was the first cooperation project between IFT and the Cambodian authorities under the framework of a memorandum of understanding signed in May 2016 between the Macao SAR Government and the Ministry of Tourism of the Kingdom of Cambodia. The agreement envisions the promotion of sustainable tourism development via the training of professionals in that field, and via partnerships in tourism industry education.

IFT’s positioning as an international hub for tourism education includes strengthening cooperation with Portuguese-speaking countries. This aligns with the Macao SAR Government’s efforts to promote the city as a commercial and trade cooperation service platform between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries.

In academic year 2015/16, IFT provided – for the first time – 2 short-term workshops for representatives of tourism-related bodies from Portuguese-speaking countries. The participants were in Macao at the invitation of the Macao Government Tourism Office.

One of the workshops, held in June, was on tourism planning and development. The other one took place in July, and focused on crisis management in hospitality.


John Ap
Director of the Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training

IFT Visiting Professor Dr. John Ap says the Institute is already playing an important role in tourism education in the Asia Pacific region. “Many Macao people may not realise it, but IFT has a good brand name and good reputation, being well regarded by other Asian academic institutions,” he says.

The scholar has had an extensive international career, including in the Hong Kong SAR and in Qatar. Before becoming an academic, he was a town planner in Australia, specialising in recreation and tourism planning. Dr. Ap has also served as a consultant to several organisations, including UNESCO.

Dr. Ap now heads IFT’s Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training. The centre is expected to produce further positive outcomes for Macao, he says. “It will enhance our reputation as an international tourist and leisure destination, as is the aim of government policy.”


We collaborate on a wide range of things with a great number of tourism-related organisations around the world. These relationships are designed to enhance the Institute’s global achievements and improve its research and training capabilities.

Asian Academy for Heritage Management
– Founding member
– Holder of the chair of the Executive Committee
– Knowledge management hub
– Focal point of the UNESCO Cultural Heritage Specialist Guide Programme

Asia-Pacific Education and Training Institutes in Tourism
– Founding member
– General Council member
– Executive Committee member
– Training-the-trainer centre

Asia Pacific Tourism Association
– Board member
– Institutional member
– Regional representative

Association for Tourism and Leisure Education
– Member

Association of Universities of Portuguese Language
– Member

Pacific Asia Travel Association
– Associate member

– Education/Training Committee member
– Industry Council member and Council representative on the PATA Board

PATA Macau Chapter
– Holder of chair

World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
– Affiliate member
– Knowledge network member

– American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute

– Asia Society of Visual Merchandisers

– Burgundy Wine School

– Confederation of International Beauty, Therapy and Cosmetology

– City and Guilds

– Ferrandi Paris School of Culinary Arts

– International Air Transport Association (IATA)

– International Bartenders Association

– International Personal Trainers and Fitness Academy


– London Chamber of Commerce and Industry

– Le Cordon Bleu

– Microsoft Office Specialist

– Sake Sommelier Association

– Servsafe

– Specialty Coffee Association of Europe

– Sherry Academy (Consejos Reguladores del Marco de Jerez)

– Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) – Educational Testing Service

– Wine and Spirit Education Trust

– Wines of Portugal