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IFT to play key role in realising Macao-Portugal tourism education MoU

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

IFT has been appointed to play a cornerstone role – on behalf of the Macao SAR Government – in the implementation of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in tourism education, training and research, signed between the authorities of Macao and Portugal.

The MoU – initially valid for 3 years and renewable – was signed on 14 May by the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Dr. Alexis Tam Chon Weng, on behalf of the Macao SAR Government; and by Portugal’s Secretary of State of Tourism, Ms. Ana Mendes Godinho.

The memorandum 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 MoU are expected to be available also to students from other areas within the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Greater Bay Area).

IFT’s management says it plans to continue increasing the level of cooperation between the Institute and higher education institutions and other related bodies in Portugal. It adds this is in line with efforts by the Macao SAR Government to promote the city as a tourism education and training base for the Greater Bay Area and a cooperation platform between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries.

Greater Bay Area forum

The MoU signing took place during the opening ceremony of a 3-day academic forum in Estoril, Portugal. The event was co-organised by IFT, the Estoril Higher Institute for Tourism and Hotel Studies, and Turismo de Portugal I.P. The latter body oversees tourism promotion in Portugal.

The forum focused on the impact on tourism and on education of the Greater Bay Area initiative, a wide-ranging project by the Central Government of the People’s Republic of China to advance and integrate development across Macao, Hong Kong and 9 cities from Guangdong Province, the mainland jurisdiction neighbouring the 2 SARs.

Speaking at the forum’s opening ceremony, Secretary Tam pointed out that, as China was entering a new era of development, Macao’s tourism industry was also “welcoming unprecedented opportunities”. Dr. Tam said that the development of the Greater Bay Area – coupled with the “Belt and Road” initiative, in which Portugal was also involved – would “open up a new landscape for regional and international cooperation in tourism and beyond”.

In his speech, Secretary Tam highlighted that Macao had been designated as a “core member” in terms of the development plan of the Greater Bay Area. He added that key regional infrastructure – including the newly-opened Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the expansion of China’s inter-city rail system, and an efficient road network – would “open a new window of opportunities” for Macao to collaborate with counterpart bodies in Guangdong Province and in Hong Kong, in order to offer multi-destination tourism to international tourists.

In addition, Macao would strive “to contribute as one of China’s windows for fostering international collaboration,” said Dr. Tam. He recalled the “long-standing cooperation between Portugal and Macao” in various areas, noting it had particular emphasis on tourism development.

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