he international outlook of IFT distinguishes the Institute from other educational establishments. We strive to ensure that everything we do, ranging from curriculum development to research, is infused with an international spirit.

People from all corners of the world meet each day at IFT to share ideas and impart understanding. The Institute gives its undergraduates a learning environment with an international outlook that enhances their career prospects upon graduation, and that increases the quality and relevance of research.

The IFT emphasis on making the world outside aware of its work complements its dedication to nurturing the next generation of leaders of the Macao tourism industry. We recognise that if Macao students wish to compete in the international arena in their chosen field of work, then it is important they engage with foreign students and academics before they graduate.

The knowledge and experience of our multicultural academic staff help broaden students’ horizons. IFT has access to a vast international network linking it with 104 universities and tourism bodies in 31 different parts of the world. The Institute welcomes each year numerous foreign students on temporary exchanges and foreign students taking whole academic programmes, giving our campuses an even more international atmosphere.

IFT has taken important measures to equip its undergraduates to meet the challenges of joining the globalised tourism industry. Our curriculums are benchmarked against international standards and best practices, to give students all the skills they need to succeed in their working careers or in pursuing further studies, at home or abroad.

We encourage our students to do internships abroad and to take part in exchange programmes, and give them scholarships so they can do so. We also encourage our students to attend academic conferences, to go on field trips and to take cultural immersion programmes abroad.

IFT collaborates with some of the leading tourism schools around the globe in putting on short courses for executives of the hospitality industry. These IFT Executive Development Programme courses cover the latest trends in hospitality management.

IFT offered 3 such courses in academic year 2016/17. In October 2016, Dr. Michael Oshins, a member of the executive education teaching staff of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, taught a course on strategic thinking.

In June 2017, Mr. Michael Flannery, also from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, conducted a course on operations decision-making in hospitality financial management.

In August 2017, École hôtelière de Lausanne Lausanne Hospitality Consulting Senior Consultant Mr. Olivier Verschelde taught a course on people management.

IFT and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have a longstanding partnership. The Institute helps UNESCO with part of its work in the Asia-Pacific region, supporting technical missions and collaborating in the training of guides to heritage sites.

At the request of UNESCO, IFT sent Invited Assistant Professor Sharif Shams Imon to Seoul, in the Republic of Korea, from 19 to 30 September 2016 on a technical mission. The mission assessed the potential inclusion of the Seoul City Wall on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Dr. Imon later returned to Republic of Korea to offer advice on heritage sites being considered as candidates for UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

Dr. Imon is the Coordinator of the IFT programme leading to a Bachelor’s Degree in Heritage Management and Tourism Business Management. He has many years of experience in the field of heritage management. He has carried out several missions for UNESCO.

IFT is involved in the UNESCO Cultural Heritage Specialist Guide Training and Certification Programme. The programme began in 2005 and is confined to the Asia- Pacific region. IFT being the regional focal point for the programme, it has acted as consultant and helped adapt the guide training programme to suit UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Mainland China and Macao.

In November 2016, an IFT team of 4 students took part in the annual AFECA Asia MICE Youth Challenge for the first time. The contest was run by the Asian Federation of Exhibition and Convention Associations (AFECA) to develop the talents of young people eager to work in the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) industry.

The contest took place in Xiamen, in the Mainland Chinese province of Fujian. It was the biggest AFECA Asia MICE Youth Challenge held, with 15 teams from 10 different parts of Asia competing. Each team prepared and presented a business plan that would exploit the strengths of its home base as a place to hold MICE events.

The IFT team of Year 4 undergraduates proposed an incentive travel package that emphasised the East-meets-West culture and heritage of Macao. Their presentation was called “A Cultural Kaleidoscope Incentive Travel Programme: The Macanese Experience”.

During the summer break many IFT undergraduates take short-term programmes outside Macao. They gain the chance to broaden their horizons and learn more about topics relevant to tourism. Some of these programmes are arranged jointly by IFT and its partners abroad. The cross-border exchange programmes that IFT students took part in during 2016/17 academic year included:

– Tianjin Cultural Exchange Programme for Macao University Students 2017
Tianjin, Mainland China

– Destination Shaping and Experience Design
Breda, the Netherlands

– Portugal Tourism: Heritage and Creativity
Peniche, Portugal

– Douro Wine Workshop
São João da Pesqueira, Portugal

– Linnaeus University Summer Academy 2017
Kalmar, Sweden

– 2017 Chung-Ang University International Summer Programme
Seoul, Republic of Korea

– 2017 Exchange Scheme for Faculty and Students from Universities in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao – Spring City Exploration: Cultural Experience in Kunming
Yunnan, Mainland China

– 2017 Macao and Jiangsu University Student Cultural Exchange Programme
Nanjing and Changzhou, Mainland China

– 2017 Exchange Scheme for Faculty and Students from Universities in Mainland, Hong Kong and Macao – Shenzhen Cultural Summer Camp
Shenzhen, Mainland China

– Summer Camp on Maritime Silk Road 2017
Guangzhou, Mainland China and Batam, Indonesia



Our teaching staff include academics from all around the world, who work side-by-side with their highly-qualified colleagues from Macao.



IFT and several other bodies formed partnerships in education in academic year 2016/17. The new partners of the Institute are: the National University of East Timor in East Timor, Incheon National University in the Republic of Korea and the Association of Hong Kong Chinese Middle Schools in Hong Kong SAR.



Most of the IFT programmes leading to bachelor’s degrees are recognised by the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria in Portugal, meaning the degrees awarded are accepted all over the European Union. This makes it easier for IFT graduates to pursue postgraduate studies in Europe or obtain employment there.


Creating the IFT Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training brings the Institute closer to international renown as seat of learning. The centre will help ensure the relevance of IFT to the tourism industry around the world.

Among the aims for IFT is the goal of being recognised as an Asia-Pacific regional centre for education and training in tourism. The IFT Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training is a substantial step toward that goal.

The agreement to set up the IFT Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training was signed in October 2015 by representatives of the Macao SAR Government and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The agreement calls for the enhancement of human capital for the tourism industry and the promotion of sustainable tourism in the Asia-Pacific region.

In cooperation with the UNWTO, the centre offers education and training, and does research into tourism. The purpose of the centre is to ensure Macao plays a leading role in education and training in Asia and the Pacific by helping tourism officials in developing economies to enhance their knowledge and skills.

The centre coordinated 2 training programmes in academic year 2016/17. The first, Tourism Capacity Building for Government and Public Officials, was held in November 2016 and lasted 8 days. Of the 21 attendees, 4 were from Macao, with the remainder representing Afghanistan, Bhutan, Mainland China, Iran, North Korea, Mongolia, Nepal and Papua New Guinea.

The second training programme was held in May 2017 and lasted 8 days. The Strategic Tourism Planning and Management for a Sustainable Future course attracted 21 people from Mainland China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Macao and Myanmar to a programme of lectures, case studies, experience-sharing sessions, presentations and site visits.


Helping create an international centre for tourism education and training in Macao includes increasing cooperation with the Portuguese-speaking countries. This is in line with the efforts of the Macao SAR Government to promote the city as a commercial and trade cooperation service platform between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries.

In 2017 – for the second consecutive year – IFT held workshops that formed part of courses run by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) for officials of tourism-related bodies in the Portuguese-speaking countries.

Between May and September 3 sets of officials, about 10 each time, took an MGTO course lasting 2 weeks. The course included 2 days of workshops hosted by the IFT Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training. The officials came from Angola, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé and Principe.


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.”


IFT and other tourism-related bodies around the globe collaborate in many endeavours. The purpose of these collaborative partnerships is to add to the list of achievements of the Institute on the world stage, and to 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
– Member of the General Council
– Member of the Executive Committee
– Training-the-trainer centre

Asia Pacific Tourism Association
– Member of the Board
– Institutional member
– Regional representative

Association for Tourism and Leisure Education
– Member

Association of Universities of Portuguese Language
– Member

Pacific Asia Travel Association
– Associate member

– Member of the Education/Training Committee
– Member of the Industry Council
– Representative of the Industry Council on the Board

PATA Macau Chapter
– Holder of the chair of the General Assembly

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