Main Headline Postgraduate Studies

IFTM to offer new master’s degree focused on smart technology in tourism

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

IFTM is planning a new master’s degree programme focused on smart technology in the hospitality and tourism industry. IFTM President Dr. Fanny Vong Chuk Kwan says the goal is to help train “a new generation of management talent that can understand the importance of applying technology in tourism”.

An aim is that the educational contribution to the programme will include not only the knowledge of specialised scholars from IFTM but know-how from the industry.

“We want to cooperate with technology companies, so that they can provide us access to their knowledge base, databases and learning materials,” Dr. Vong says. The goal is to ensure students “can get the most up-to-date knowledge”, helping to improve service quality and efficiency in tourism.

“People specialised in technology related to tourism – such as e-payment technology, virtual and augmented reality, AI and robotics – are in demand,” in order that new tourism products can be developed, and so that tourists’ experience of destinations can be enhanced, says the IFTM President.

The concept of ‘smart tourism’ has gained momentum in recent years. It broadly refers to the integration of information and communication technologies in tourism operations, aiming to generate value for all stakeholders.

Smart tourism is also rapidly making its way up the agenda of scholars and researchers. IFTM has been involved recently in a number of events discussing the latest trends in the field.

In July, IFTM helped organise a panel discussion on the impact of digital payments in developing, in an integrated way, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area as a tourism destination. The event was part of the 9th Macao International Travel (Industry) Expo, also known as MITE.

The panel discussion was organised by the Alliance for Developing Macao into the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Tourism Education and Training Base. The Alliance is a Macao-based coalition, bringing together 2 government bodies and 10 local higher education institutions, including IFTM as the coordinator.

Dr. Vong explains digital payments are increasingly significant in smart tourism. On one hand, such technology helps to “improve the overall experience of tourists” by making payments “very convenient,” she says. On the other, operators and governments gain easy access to huge quantities of data related to consumption patterns of visitors, which can be used to draft commercial strategies and fine-tune policy planning.