Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT), established in 1995, is a public institution of higher education under the governance of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao Special Administrative Region Government, offering a wide range of tourism related undergraduate programmes and professional training, which include areas in hospitality, tourism business, heritage, events, retail and marketing, leisure and entertainment, sports and recreation, creative and cultural studies, and culinary arts.
Tourism College and Tourism and Hotel School are the 2 major components of IFT. They offer four-year bachelor’s degree programmes and professional training courses respectively.
Tourism and Hotel School
In the past year, IFT received numerous awards and was widely recognised by various international bodies. In 2003, IFT was invited by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) to be one of the founding members of the Asian Academy for Heritage Management (AAHM), with the aim to promote and strengthen the heritage management in the Asia-Pacific region.
As one of the world-leading higher education institutes providing degree programmes in the area of tourism and hospitality, IFT was highly ranked by QS, when the QS World University Rankings in the subject area of Hospitality and Leisure Management was launched in 2017. IFT never stops improving teaching quality and continues moving forward on the way of pursuing even higher international ranking.
IFT is also the world’s first higher education institute to pass the International Quality Review (IQR) from UK’s quality assurance agency for higher education - QAA - which ensures the high quality of programmes offered.
IFT strives to develop curriculum and conduct researches with an international spirit and create an all-embracing learning environment for students to equip them for a better future. In academic year 2017/18, IFT signed new cooperation agreements and invited new research partners from all across the world, including Mainland China, France, Malaysia, Myanmar, Portugal and Hong Kong SAR.
Students also have the opportunities to learn with non-local students in IFT. In academic year 2017/18, the interflow programme invited exchange students from America, Europe, Africa and other parts of Asia to Macao, while local IFT students go to different corners of the world.
The Greater Bay Area Cooperation
In 2017, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the governments of Guangdong, Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR signed the “Framework Agreement on Deepening Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Cooperation in the Development of the Bay Area” which recognises Macao’s unique position as a training centre for tourism talents in the Greater Bay Area. In academic year 2017/18, IFT cooperated with all local higher education institutions and relevant government departments to form a Working Group for the Development of Macao into Greater Bay Area’s Tourism Education and Training Base. The objective of the Group is to build a regional tourism research platform, increase the mobility of students in further education in the area of tourism, provide training, enhance exchange among students and faculty, as well as establish a broader platform for communication.
Regional Talented Training Centre
IFT also pays a lot of attention in international connection and nurtures students as the bridge of connecting China and the world. Our highly acclaimed programmes and Macao Occupational Skills Recognition System (MORS) now attracted more and more professionals in the industry and learners from Mainland China and around the world to join. In academic year 2017/18, 1,115 professionals participated in the training programmes and were certified by the MORS. Through working together with international organisations in the field of tourism, services, and F&B, IFT fosters Macao as a seedbed for talents and professionals locally and internationally.
Honours and Awards
Medal of Merit for Tourism
Macao SAR Government
UNWTO.TedQual Certification for Eight IFT Bachelor’s degree programmes
International Quality Review
UK’s Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA)
Gold Award in Education and Training
1997 and 2002
Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
Best Educational Organisation – Service and Brand: Macau Elite Service Award
2014 and 2015
Exmoo News and TDM
ISO 20000 IT Service Management System Certification
International Organization for Standardization
ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System Certification
International Organization for Standardization
Macao Green Hotel Gold Award, for the Pousada de Mong-Há
Valid until 2019
Macao Environmental Protection Bureau
Recommended Hotel and Restaurant ratings, respectively for the Pousada de Mong-Há and the Educational Restaurant
2009 to 2018
Michelin Guide Hong Kong and Macau
Travellers’ Choice Award, for the Pousada de Mong-Há
2011 to 2018
Certificate of Excellence, for the Pousada de Mong-Há and the IFT Educational Restaurant
2015 to 2018
Top 2 Bargain Hotels in China for the Pousada de Mong-Há
Grand Merit Award: Business Awards of Macau
De Ficção Multimedia Projects and Charity Association of Macau Business Readers
|Actual expenditure for fiscal year 2017|
|Campus Construction and Equipment Consumption||6,693,710.13||2.3%|
|Actual income for fiscal year 2017|
|Services and Other Activities||13,088,439.80||4.1%|
|Balance Brought Forward from Last Year||16,529,087.48||5.2%|
|Full-Time Academic Staff|
|Position||Number of people|
|Position||Number of people|
|Hospitality occupational training staff||35|
|Administrative and other staff||193|
Year in Review
IFT Students Shine in Macao MICE Competition
A team of IFT students won the Macao Tertiary Institution Students Conference Challenge 2017/18 on 17 March 2018 and another finished third in the field out of 11 competing teams. Both IFT teams were made up of students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Tourism Event Management.
The winning team’s proposal established what they called the International Gastronomy Tourism Co-creation Forum and argued that the food a place such as Macao offers will attract tourists and should be regarded as more than just a side attraction. The students described the contest as a good learning experience and a way to apply what they have learned in the classroom in a practical exercise. They added that joining this competition improved their understanding of how to put together an event.
IFT Team Secures Podium Spot in Regional Marketing Competition
A team of 5 IFT students, “Rocky N’Girls”, claimed third place in the “Novotown University Business Case Competition 2018”, a marketing competition held by a unit of Hong Kong’s Lai Sun Group. Participants were required to present a 6-month marketing plan to promote Novotown, a multi-phase integrated tourism and entertainment project under development in the neighbouring Hengqin Island, in Guangdong Province.
Rocky N’Girls proposed the use of flash mob events and of street-based virtual reality experiences to draw visitor interest to Novotown and was praised for its creativity and its feasibility in terms of implementation. They won a RMB3,000 cash prize and a trip in June to visit the operations of Taiwan-based healthcare group Sanitas.
Slow Food Gala Dinner: A delicious success
A group of Year 2 IFT students studying for the Bachelor of Science in Tourism Event Management held the Macau Slow Food Gala Dinner 2017 with the help of the Macau Slow Food Association at the IFT Educational Restaurant on 24 November. They undertook the project entirely on their own initiative to promote the Slow Food Movement. The event was funded by ticket sales and sponsorships. A net profit of MOP14,925.70 was donated to WeFood Macau, a local non-profit organisation that works to reduce food wastage.
Cultural Heritage Management Course Practicum
Coorganised by IFT, “The Memory of Mandarin’s House” was held in October 2017. The event was jointly organised by 2 courses, namely Heritage Interpretation and Event Management. In the course, students learnt, thought, planned, managed and executed activities, and reviewed the process after the event. At the same time, students also put cultural heritage management knowledge into practice using different methods, such as video playback, guided tours, various exhibitions and interactive experiences to tell the history of the Mandarin’s House to the public and tourists.
Tour around Macao with IFT Students
Bachelor’s degree programmes at IFT accommodate both theoretical and practical needs of the students and so students are required to complete a certain amount of hands-on learning tasks in their majors every year. One of those tasks for those who study Tourism Business Management is to give tourists and local Macao citizens free guided tour service. In 2017, IFT students provided free guided tours to visitors and Macao citizens with the theme “Tour around Macao with IFT Students”.
The project included the planning of four sightseeing routes, the scheduling of timetable and the actual tour-guiding work which were all done by the students themselves, with little assistance from their tutors. Students learnt various communication skills from the planning process, and by providing services to tourists on tourist attractions, they also made the general public in Macao aware of the importance of tourism in Macao.
Visiting the World Heritage by Night
“Principles of Management”, a course in IFT’s evening bachelor degree programme Tourism Retail and Marketing Management, focuses on the main functions of managers: planning, organisation, leadership and control. In September 2017, students in it were divided into groups and each group was asked to present a proposal for a field trip under the theme “Visiting the World Heritage by Night”. The group that created the winning proposal was given the chance to put it into action, while each of the other groups wrote reports on the project. The project offered students a chance to apply what they had learned in class while showing tourists and local Macao citizens a different Macao.
IFT Volunteer Circle attends forum in Japan
Members of the IFT Volunteer Circle attended the 6th National Research Exchange Forum for Volunteer Students and Supporters, held in Tokyo, Japan from 2 to 4 March 2018. They were invited by the National Institution for Youth Education of Japan, for the third successive year.
The delegation from Macao consisted of 12 members of the IFT Volunteer Circle and 4 students of the University of Macau, and was sponsored in part by Macao’s Tertiary Education Services Office (GAES). In the forum, 12 workshops on various aspects of contributing to society and student empowerment were held and participants exchanged experience and thoughts on volunteerism. The Forum brought together 901 students and supporters from 171 institutions of higher education.
Andric Lei, a student at the Tourism Retail and Marketing Management Evening Bachelor Degree Programme, says the reason for choosing an evening programme is that he can work while studying. To balance between work and studies, he says, it’s important to plan and manage one’s time wisely, especially when both loads from work and studies are heavy. Besides, it’s also crucial to have the right mindset and the simplest way to achieve that is to avoid laziness and work even harder.
IFT’s interactive teaching and learning approach is very special, Andric says, and he is most impressed by the Macao World Heritage Night Tour in the management course. Taking classmates in the course to visit the world cultural heritage of Macao enhances their team-spirit and friendship. Also, he has got a taste of how his tutor’s life is like when guiding students to participate in the organisation of an activity and experiences the characteristics of the Macao world cultural heritage.
During his days in IFT, Andric personally likes the Management subjects. Besides the fact that Management is closely related to daily life, skills and theories learnt in the courses are also the most applicable in the work life. For example, ways to motivate employees and build team spirit introduced by the courses instructors are helpful to the development of motivation plan in the workplace.
IFT is an international education institute, he adds, and that helps him know his industry better and make more accurate decisions. Courses at the IFT also improves planning and management of his life and his self-discipline.
Armando Amante, a graduate of the Hotel Management of 2008, is also the President of the IFT Alumni Association. In order to fulfill his dream after graduating from the Institute, he became a professional squash player who has won the Macau Championship for ten years and the first Macao citizen to win the China Championship. He then embarked on his business career, and in 2017, won the Young Entrepreneur Award from the Business Awards of Macao. He sees himself a servant to the community as well as an entrepreneur. He is now the President of the IFT Alumni Association and the Secretary General of the Macau Squash Association and he hopes to establish a communication platform for the younger generation through his own experience.
He expresses that the Bachelor's degree in Hotel Management he obtains at the IFT helps him establish a good foundation for his career. He believes that Hotel Management is a big field, and the entire hotel supply chain covers a wide range of areas. The comprehensive curriculum at IFT allows students to carefully understand and experience the operation of the industry’s supply chain. Besides, the hotel industry is part of the service sector, so communication skills like language patterns, voice and intonations are very important. Therefore, instructors often require students to carry out group projects, which train up students' communication and public speaking skills, and more importantly, their self-confidence and determination, preparing them well to enter the society in future.
The IFT Alumni Association was established in April 2003; it is a non-profit organisation established 14 years ago by a group of enthusiastic graduates. Its purpose is to strengthen the bonds between alumni, to strive for alumni benefits and promotes their interests, and to assist the industry to promote professional exchanges. The Alumni Association hosts a variety of academic events each year to support the development of Macao's tourism industry. It also works with the Institute to brainstorm ideas for education, and contribute to the development of tourism in Macao and the Asia Pacific region.
Armando says that under the national “Belt and Road” initiative and the vision of the Macao government to build a “World Centre of Tourism and Leisure”, there will be many opportunities in Macao. He hopes that the IFT Alumni Association can create a platform to help alumni “go global” and “bring in investments” and make use of Macao’s own advantages to develop more tourism projects. He also hopes to see more hotels run by Macao citizens and entertainment facilities managed by Macao citizens in the future - Macao citizens working together for Macao and the country.
Zhang Nan, a student in the Tourism Business Management programme, is from Xinjiang Normal University. Her classmates were very friendly, and no matter where and when, they helped one another to solve problems. They travelled together, did homework and projects together. They know everyone else very well and their chats are no longer superficial.
Bruno Albuquerque from Portugal majored in Culinary Management. He says that the IFT learning experience is really an intercultural exchange. He had a Korean boy living next door and had a lot of contact with him. He then knew the Korean way of living. Besides, he recalls that Chinese exchange students did a lot of activities with them, such as teaching them how to read and write in Chinese and cooking traditional Chinese cuisine. He remarks that there are plenty of cultural exchange experiences in IFT - the warm reception upon his arrival and the farewell dinner when he left, all very unforgettable. As someone who likes Asian culture very much, he appreciates Macao is a mix of Asian culture and Portuguese influences. He is very happy to have chosen to come to Macao as an exchange student.
Ines, who is studying Tourism Business Management, is from Portugal. She says IFT provides a very special experience for young people to meet new friends and learn about new cultures. That is the reason why they choose to come to study at IFT and also hers.
Magdalena, who is also from Portugal, studies Hotel Management. She said she was nervous when she realised she was going to be in Asia for 6 months and she knew nothing about the Chinese culture. But now, she thinks it has been a good experience, and considers Macao her second home. She expresses that she will return to Macau in the future.
Olivia from Nanjing Normal University was an exchange student at IFT for a semester and was very sad when she was about to leave. However, all good things come to an end; she is glad she has had very good memories and made very good friends at the IFT. She is sure she will come to Macao again.