The IFT Tourism and Hotel School’s main goal is to develop people’s skills and talent in order to prepare them for work in tourism, hospitality and other service industries. To achieve that, the School offers courses that reflect the latest needs of the market.

More than 20,000 people undertake training programmes and occupational assessments each year at the IFT Tourism and Hotel School. Courses are offered at foundation, intermediate and advanced level.

Some of the programmes are presented in partnership with institutions abroad. These courses lead to certifications that are recognised by tourism and hospitality businesses around the world.

The IFT Tourism and Hotel School collaborates with the Macao Education and Youth Affairs Bureau to deliver 2 courses for high-school students: the Tourism Techniques Course; and the Graphic Design Course. Each course – respectively spanning 3 years – involves academic and occupational instruction, and is supplemented by internships.

IFT also arranges vocational courses that teach high-school pupils about the hospitality, food and beverage, and events businesses. These courses cover the basics about tourism and hospitality, allowing students to make decisions about further studies and their future career path.

For the wider community, IFT offers a range of training courses in a variety of fields. Throughout the year, special seminars and workshops are also arranged by IFT. These help broaden people’s horizons and they are often jointly arranged with partners abroad.

The IFT Community Education and Development Programme gives all residents of Macao access – free of charge – to a wide range of basic training courses on aspects of service-sector work. Some courses are offered in cooperation with community associations and partners in the relevant industries.

The Tourism and Hotel School’s work extends beyond Macao: the School makes important contributions to improving cooperation in tourism education between Macao and its immediate neighbours – the Mainland province of Guangdong and the Hong Kong SAR – as part of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area project. (Readers can find out more in the “Global Links” chapter.)



The IFT Tourism and Hotel School offers courses in a total of 8 fields:


There is a wide range of courses available, from occupational skills to management-related knowledge. IFT collaborates with a number of international training organisations to offer accredited qualifications that can help industry participants advance their respective careers in hospitality. Programmes are offered at a variety of levels.

Food and beverage

Programmes are available at different levels, some targeting the community at large and others specific to industry professionals. Areas covered include: food and beverage management, restaurant front-line service, bar operations, culinary arts, and food-product knowledge. IFT has partnerships internationally with a number of training entities in this field in order to offer globally-recognised qualifications.

Heritage and tourism

Courses offered include Tour Guide Training, available in several languages; Cultural Heritage Interpretation for World Heritage Sites; Macao Heritage Tour Guide training; and Supervision in Travel Agency work. IFT collaborates with the International Air Transport Association and the United Federation of Travel Agents’ Associations to enable the Institute to run the International Travel Agent Foundation Course, among other programmes. The Institute also regularly hosts public seminars covering culture- and tourism-related topics.

Retail, events and business

The available courses aim to allow participants to cope with the needs of Macao’s fast-developing retail industry. Topics include: sales techniques; shop operations; merchandising; marketing; and visual merchandising. IFT also offers a series of programmes related to financial management, business management and accounting, ranging from foundation level to managerial level. In the field of events, the Institute offers courses on general event planning, wedding planning, and public relations for events.

Creative studies and information technology (IT)

To cope with the development of Macao’s cultural and creative sector, and to support the city’s aim of becoming a “smart city”, IFT puts on a number of courses related respectively to the creative arts, design, creative thinking and information technology.

Health, spa and beauty

The Institute makes available courses in collaboration with several international training organisations, offering access to accredited qualifications, and providing participants with opportunities for career development. Popular courses include programmes leading either to personal fitness instructor or yoga instructor qualifications. Other popular topics include professional make-up skills, food safety, and nutrition. The courses respectively on Pilates and sports massage are also highly sought-after.

Language and culture

The Institute offers courses in English-, Portuguese-, Mandarin-, Cantonese-, Japanese-, Korean- and French-language study. Programmes are offered at a variety of levels. Specific programmes are available for professionals either in hospitality, catering or retailing, covering industry-related vocabulary. In addition, IFT provides language programmes for local high-school students.

Personal development

Courses available range from management of interpersonal relationships to communication skills. The goal is to equip participants with skills that can enable them to face successfully challenges, either in the workplace or in personal matters.

IFT partners for international qualification courses

American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute (AH&LEI)

Asia Society of Visual Merchandisers (ASVM)

Burgundy Wine School

City and Guilds

Educational Testing Service (ETS)

FERRANDI Paris - The French School of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management

International Air Transport Association (IATA)

International Bartenders Association (IBA)

International Personal Trainers and Fitness Academy (IPTFA)


Le Cordon Bleu

Pearson LCCI

Piverdie France

Sake Sommelier Association


Specialty Coffee Association (SCA)

Sherry Academy

Wines of Portugal

Promotion of education as a lifelong process

At the core of the mission of the IFT Tourism and Hotel School is the promotion of lifelong education. To this end, the Institute creates and promotes training programmes for those living and working in Macao.

The IFT Tourism and Hotel School joined Macao’s Continuing Education Subsidy Scheme in 2008. The scheme was created by the city’s Education and Youth Affairs Bureau to promote lifelong education. In 2011, the scheme was superseded by arrangements set out under the Continuing Education Development Plan.

In academic year 2018/19, IFT applied to have about 280 courses subsidised under the latter plan, and about 2,350 participants benefited from courses subsidised under it. Between 2008 and the end of August 2019, IFT had applied to have an aggregate of 1,918 courses subsidised by the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau. In total 18,776 people attended such subsidised courses during that period.


For almost 25 years, the IFT Tourism and Hotel School has been offering high-quality training courses that reflect the requirements of the market. The School also regularly cooperates with public and private bodies in designing tailor-made educational programmes for top-notch vocational training. Examples of the work conducted by the IFT Tourism and Hotel School in academic year 2018/19 include:

The IFT Tourism and Hotel School tailors training programmes to suit Macao organisations and their specific needs. In 2018/19, about 8,560 employees drawn from 31 local establishments attended this type of customised course.

The School often works with industry bodies to assist in training those already in employment, preparing them to develop their careers and seize opportunities for promotion. IFT and the Macau Hotel Association frequently join forces to offer courses at foundation, intermediate and advanced level in subject areas such as languages, food and beverage, and management.

In May 2019, IFT delivered – on behalf of the National Government Offices Administration – a tailored course on differentiated marketing strategies for the hotel sector. The Administration is a body directly subordinate to the State Council of the People’s Republic of China and is in charge of the management of the affairs of central government offices.

Examples of tailor-made training offered by IFT in academic year 2018/19 to private-sector businesses include partnerships respectively with the integrated resort operators Venetian Macau Ltd and Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd. Such programmes related to management skills for their staff. The programmes – offering access to internationally-recognised qualifications – aimed to provide each participant with the skills and knowledge necessary to allow them to advance in their respective career.

The IFT Tourism and Hotel School also linked with integrated resort operator MGM China Holdings Ltd, to provide a Diploma in Professional Cookery and Food Preparation for the firm’s culinary staff.

The development of tourism in Macao continues to create opportunities for careers in restaurant work. The profile of the local sector has been enhanced by the inclusion of Macao – starting from 2017 – in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the field of gastronomy. To meet the demand for professionals in this field, the IFT Tourism and Hotel School has been devoted to continuously upgrading its offering regarding culinary courses. The latter effort includes culinary diploma programmes, evening culinary short courses, and courses leading to international qualifications.

In academic year 2018/19, the School offered 100 food and beverage short courses, covering a variety of levels. In total, 1,997 students completed training via such channels.

A number of workshops and seminars was conducted in 2018/19, many of the activities featuring experts either from overseas or the Mainland. Some of the food flavours of Portuguese-speaking countries were made accessible via IFT, as the Institute was one of the partners of the 10th Cultural Week of China and Portuguese-speaking Countries, organised in October 2018 by the Permanent Secretariat of the Forum for Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries (Macao). Two cooking demonstrations took place at IFT as part of the Cultural Week, featuring respectively chefs from Cabo Verde and Mozambique.

IFT’s Tourism and Hotel School launched in 2016 a series of Portuguese-language courses designed for those working in the hospitality and tourism sectors. The programmes gave students access to an A1-level language certificate by Instituto Português do Oriente, a body also known by its Portuguese acronym IPOR. The latter is a not-for-profit organisation promoting Portuguese culture and language in Macao.

The certificate was issued under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, an international standard for defining language skills. It recognised a basic ability to communicate and exchange information in Portuguese.

In July 2019, IFT launched an additional set of Portuguese-language courses for people working in the hospitality and tourism sectors, offering access to an A2-level language certificate.

Also in 2019, IFT began to provide language-proficiency tests in English in partnership with the Civil Aviation Authority of Macao. The tests are aimed at pilots, aeronautical station operators and air-traffic controllers. Such professionals need to achieve a certified language-proficiency level categorised as “operational level” in order to be licensed in their respective field.

The IFT Tourism and Hotel School trains Macao front-line police officers in the ‘soft skills’ that enable them to interact with tourists. The officers are taught etiquette and communication skills, including foreign languages, and how to present information about the city’s cultural heritage.

The training – offered in partnership with the Academy for Public Security Forces – helps officers interact with tourists, improving the service they render on the beat, and so taking Macao closer to its goal of becoming a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure.

Annually, around 10 courses are presented for 25 officers in each class. Since the arrangement began in 2015, a total of 985 officers has completed the training. In academic year 2018/19 specifically, 11 courses were offered, and 273 police officers completed such training.


Course category
No. of trainees
Hospitality 2,489
Food and beverage 1,997
Heritage and tourism 2,109
Retail, events and business 2,580
Creative studies and IT 2,292
Health, spa and beauty 723
Language and culture 4,907
Personal development 1,864
Extracurricular activities 1,022
Total 19,983
Course type
No. of trainees
Diploma programmes 203
Community Education and Development Programme 2,775
Customised courses 8,560
Courses leading to internationally-recognised qualifications 864
Macao Occupational Skills Recognition System (MORS) 825
Other short-term professional courses 5,404
Pre-service vocational training programmes 1,286
Technical and professional programmes for high-school students 66
Total 19,983
Occupational assessment candidates – academic year 2018/19
No. of candidates
Macao Occupational Skills Recognition System (MORS) 1,471
Language examinations for tour guides and ground transfer agents 70
Language proficiency test – English 90
Total 1,631

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