IFT collaborates with some of the world’s top tourism schools to provide – via its executive development programmes – short courses for industry executives. The courses cover the latest trends in hospitality management.
In August 2019, IFT and EHL Advisory Services of Switzerland worked together to hold an executive development programme on best practices for attracting, choosing, nurturing and ultimately retaining staff. EHL Advisory Services Senior Consultant Mr. Pierre Verbeke and IFT Assistant Professor Dr. Henrique F. Boyol Ngan conducted the course. A total of 21 executives working either in hotels or integrated resorts in Macao attended the 2-day course.
EHL Advisory Services is part of EHL Group, a hospitality management education group based in Switzerland. The group includes the prestigious EHL École hôtelière de Lausanne, one of the world’s top higher-education institutions in the field of hospitality management.
IFT is a member of a number of international bodies in the field of tourism and education. The Institute is dedicated to being of value to all of them.
One example is IFT’s role in the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA): the Institute and PATA are long-term collaborators on education in the field of tourism and hospitality. IFT has hosted the PATA Youth Symposium twice, in 2010 and 2017. The symposium is designed to enable tertiary students and young people qualified to work in the tourism industry the opportunity to engage with industry leaders.
More recently, IFT President Dr. Fanny Vong was appointed as an Advisor to the PATA 2019/20 Executive Board. IFT also currently holds the Vice-Chairmanship of the Supervisory Board of the PATA Macau Chapter.
PATA was founded in 1951. It is a non-profit association dedicated to enabling responsible development of the travel and tourism industry in the Asia-Pacific region. Its members include national or local-government tourism bodies, international airlines and airports, institutions of education and organisations in the field of hospitality.
IFT has been a member of PATA since 1995. The association has twice presented IFT a PATA Gold Award in Education and Training.
At the suggestion of the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, Macao’s contribution to the national effort in that regard includes assistance for Congjiang County in Guizhou Province.
Congjiang County is in the Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture. The poverty rate among inhabitants of the prefecture is among the most troubling in China.
IFT is involved in the effort to support the development of Congjiang: the Institute held in 2019 training sessions for tourism industry professionals in the county. IFT Assistant Professors Dr. Cora Wong and Dr. Li Xiangping were in charge of the training programme, which lasted from 29 July to 2 August.
The training sessions were the first since the signing in April 2019 of an agreement between the Macao Government Tourism Office, the Congjiang County People’s Government and IFT to cooperate in tourism development and training for industry professionals in Congjiang.
The programme consisted of 3 talks, each on a different topic, given to Congjiang officials in charge of planning and developing tourism, representatives of travel agencies and staff of tourist attractions. The topics covered included tourism development and regional economic cooperation, cultural tourism, and rural tourism.
While in Congjiang, Dr. Wong and Dr. Li also conducted research into rural tourism.
IFT is to contribute to the training of tourism professionals in the city of Zhangjiakou, in the Mainland Chinese province of Hebei. The planned collaboration is the result of a letter of intent on cooperation, signed on 22 July 2019 by representatives of the Institute and the Zhangjiakou Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television and Tourism.
The 2-year agreement will see IFT train tourism workers in Zhangjiakou, to support the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Some Olympic Games events will be held in Zhangjiakou and some in Beijing.
Those benefitting from training arranged by IFT include tourism management officials, travel agency representatives, employees of hospitality establishments and staff at tourist attractions.
IFT and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have a long-standing collaboration. The Institute helps UNESCO with part of its work in the Asia-Pacific region, supporting technical missions and collaborating in the training of guides working at heritage sites.
IFT hosted in October 2018 an international course on management and monitoring of sites that are inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The scheme attracted more than 20 government officials, experts and private-sector professionals from all around the world, including from Mainland China, Macao, and elsewhere in Asia, as well as Europe, Africa and South America.
The programme – held from 8 to 19 October – was organised by the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage, and Macao’s Cultural Affairs Bureau. IFT was one of the co-organisers, with the course taking place at IFT’s Taipa Campus.
Two of the seminars included in the training course were open to the public, in an effort to build community awareness of the significance for Macao of the management of the historical urban landscape.
IFT has been appointed to play a cornerstone role – on behalf of the Macao SAR Government – in the implementation of a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in tourism education, training and research, signed between the authorities of Macao and Portugal.
The memorandum was signed in May 2019. It aims to promote the co-development of training courses and joint degree programmes, and participation in workshops, seminars and other projects deemed mutually beneficial for both sides.
In the future, the programmes to be developed under the scope of the agreement are expected to be available also to students from other areas within the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
IFT and the 12 tourism schools managed by Turismo de Portugal I.P. – the body that oversees tourism promotion in Portugal – also will be deepening links, including staff and student exchanges and sharing of research on teaching. Such cooperation includes a new agreement to establish more comprehensive ties in tourism education, training and research. The increased cooperation with Portugal also will see Estoril Higher Institute for Tourism and Hotel Studies make available space at its facilities to be used as a branch of IFT.
Educational Restaurant staff frequently attend trade shows and other events around the world to add to their knowledge. In academic year 2018/19, representatives of the Institute attended the 18th International Exhibition of Food and Drink, Hotel, Restaurant and Foodservice Equipment, Supplies and Services (HOFEX 2019), held from 7 to 10 May 2019 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
From 11 to 13 November 2018, Food and Beverage Department Executive Assistant Manager Mr. David Wong Yuk Shan and Chef Hans Rasmussen took part – on behalf of IFT – in “Gastrónoma 2018” in Valencia, Spain. The event was a meeting point for professionals from the hotel, catering, manufacturing and culinary distribution sectors.
The IFT food and beverage team enjoys a strong reputation in the industry, often being invited to take part in outside events. In August 2018, Executive Assistant Manager Mr. Wong was a member of the judging panel for a well-regarded wine competition. On 30 May 2019, Chef Tong Ion Keong and Cook Jimmy Cao took part – on behalf of IFT – in a demonstration of Macanese food preparation held at the Shunde Polytechnic in Foshan, Guangdong Province.
In addition, food and beverage staff at IFT regularly take part in industry competitions as a way to refresh their skills. In May 2019, Chef Ronald Gonzales and Cook Jimmy Cao represented the Institute at the Hong Kong International Culinary Classic (HKICC). The competition – aimed at promoting culinary excellence – featured more than 20 culinary categories. Mr Cao won a bronze medal in the “Western Cuisine – Professional: Pork Loin” category.
IFT membership of international bodies
IFT formed new partnerships in education and research in academic year 2018/19, involving bodies across the world. The list of new partners includes:
|Royal University of Phnom Penh | Cambodia|
|Capilano University | Canada|
|Munich University of Applied Sciences | Germany|
|School of Tourism of the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City | Vietnam|
|Education Bureau of Guangzhou Municipality, Guangdong Province | Mainland China|
|Guangzhou Tour Guide Association, Guangdong Province | Mainland China|
|Sun Yat-sen University, Guangdong Province | Mainland China|
|Congjiang County People’s Government, Guizhou Province | Mainland China|
|Zhangjiakou Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television and Tourism, Hebei Province | Mainland China|
|Nanchang University, Jiangxi Province | Mainland China|