中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese
The Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, Ms. Ao Ieong U, has encouraged the latest batch of IFTM graduates to make the most of the career opportunities available to them. She added that demand was steadily on the rise for talented professionals that could contribute to the implementation within the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area of Macao’s ‘Tourism+’ policy and the country’s ‘Internet plus tourism’ strategy.
Ms. Ao Ieong made the comments during the IFTM Graduation Ceremony 2021, held in early June at the Tap Seac Multisport Pavilion. She presided over the event, accompanied by the Chair of the IFTM Council, Mr. Chan Chak Mo, and the IFTM President, Dr. Fanny Vong Chuk Kwan.
The ‘Tourism+’ policy was proposed by the Macao SAR Government in November last year. By deepening integration of tourism with various other sectors, via ‘Tourism+’, the goal is to establish joint projects between industries, to meet the needs of inbound visitors in relation to tourism, shopping and entertainment.
Also in November last year, the Mainland authorities issued a guideline on facilitating ‘Internet plus tourism’ economic activity. The document, jointly released by 10 government departments, including the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the National Development and Reform Commission, called on operators of tourist attractions and resorts to expand 5G network coverage and speed up the introduction of unmanned, non-contact facilities.
In her address during the IFTM Graduation Ceremony, Secretary Ao Ieong highlighted the long-standing contribution of IFTM in the training of professionals for Macao’s tourism and hospitality industry. The official noted that, although the industry had been faced with innumerable challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the local authorities were keen on supporting the positioning of the Greater Bay Area as a world-class tourism destination, as set by national policy.
Addressing the new graduates, Ms. Ao Ieong urged them to be bold in embracing new challenges, and to give full play to their strengths.
A total of 416 students concluded studies at IFTM in academic year 2020/2021. This year, in addition to awarding diplomas and bachelor’s degrees, the Institute for the first time granted master’s degrees.
Novelties for 2021/2022
In her speech at the event, IFTM President Dr. Vong pointed out it was a “major milestone” for the Institute to award its first round of master’s degrees.
She added that, starting from academic year 2021/2022, the Heritage Management Bachelor’s Degree Programme would be rebranded as the Cultural and Heritage Management Bachelor’s Degree Programme. It would take on a new curriculum, “combining teaching features linked to cultural heritage conservation education with new elements in the field of cultural and creative industries”.
Dr. Vong also said IFTM was working on the launch of a new postgraduate programme in smart technologies for hospitality and tourism. It would aim to equip students with “knowledge and capabilities that allow them to be successful in a future where technology and tourism will be increasingly intertwined.”
Addressing the graduating class, Dr. Vong noted that over the past academic year, the COVID-19 pandemic had “continued heavily to impact” the lives of everyone. “Nevertheless, and despite all uncertainties, you were able successfully to complete your programmes, by learning how to adapt to new circumstances and to innovate,” she said.
Dr. Vong additionally told the latest IFTM graduates: “Become builders of tomorrow and problem-solvers, without losing your way in any storm you might encounter. I hope you all can forge ahead and contribute your talents for the overall benefit of society.”