IFTM Around the World Main Headline

IFT students visit Netherlands to brush up on destination marketing

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

A group of 16 students led by IFT Assistant Professor Dr. Fernando Lourenço joined in July a summer international exchange programme jointly organised by IFT and NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences, in Breda, the Netherlands. The focus of the programme was “Destination and Experience Marketing”.

The 12-day scheme featured a number of activities: lectures, networking events and field trips.It was divided into 3 segments: “Making places and shaping destination”; “NeuroLab”; and “Introduction to attractions and theme parks”.

The first topic was covered by several lectures on service design with a focus on what are known in the tourism industry as “customer touchpoints” and what is termed the “customer journey”. That means not simply the act of travelling to a place, but the way the visitor interacts with the destination as a product.

A variety of idea generation tools and research tools were introduced to participants during the exchange programme sessions, with a number of activities conducted to aid the learning process. Students were introduced to new technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality and its use in tourism, and also enjoyed a day trip to Antwerp in neighbouring Belgium to visit the city and its art museums.

The second segment of the exchange educational sessions, “NeuroLab”, focused on scientific research aiming to measure brain changes in order to detect modifications in the body and senses of people. Students had the opportunity to be tested via numerous tools and have a first-hand experience of how scientific research is conducted.

The final segment – “Introduction to attractions and theme parks” – included a series of lectures on this sector, focusing on the design, development and management of theme parks. Dr. Lourenço contributed to this section by conducting a workshop inviting students to propose and develop ideas for a theme park for Macao. As part of this segment, students travelled to neighbouring Germany during the exchange trip, in order to experience Movie Park Germany, a theme park featuring attractions inspired by a number of movie blockbusters and television series.

Volunteers from the Erasmus Student Network, a non-profit international student organisation, provided quality sightseeing tours as well as social events for the participants in the summer exchange programme. Included was a welcoming tour of Breda to show participants places to shop and eat; a tour of the city’s main attractions; a barbecue dinner offering the visitors the chance to socialise with local students; a pub quiz; a sports night; and a music festival.

There were many opportunities for travel during the programme. Apart from the trips included in the scheme, students also enjoyed some free time: some participants travelled to Brussels in nearby Belgium; others to Rotterdam or Den Haag in the Netherlands; while yet others stayed in Breda to explore the city in more depth.

In the end, IFT participants commented that the exchange programme had been professionally delivered and executed. On top of interesting lectures and activities, students were offered opportunities to see other parts of the Netherlands, and to make side trips to Belgium and Germany, effectively turning the activity into a 3-country trip in a single exchange programme.

By IFT Assistant Professor Dr. Fernando Lourenço

President’s Corner

A special place

IFTM’s unique positioning means students have access to a deep pool of exclusive opportunities, including exchange and internship programmes outside Macao, allowing them to be exposed to new ideas, and to broaden their horizons. Read More