President's Corner

Toward an international strategy

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

As we celebrate IFT’s 21st anniversary this semester, we should take stock of the Institute’s achievements – and of challenges overcome and lessons learned – so that we can make greater strides in the future. Recent developments are exciting and hint at further growth.

Now that IFT has its new campus on Taipa, granted by the Macao SAR Government, we are confident that the Institute can aspire to and achieve much more than previously possible. This conviction is supported by the SAR Government’s unwavering backing for higher education.

In response to the trust placed in IFT, the Institute has set an important goal: to strengthen its position as a global centre for tourism education and training. This should be achieved by building on the Institute’s solid foundation in this field, and by gaining international recognition of the IFT’s capacity to provide quality education.

Last year, representatives of the Macao SAR Government and the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) signed a memorandum of understanding on the promotion of sustainable tourism through the development and enhancement of human capital. To that end, the SAR Government appointed IFT to collaborate with the UNWTO in providing programmes of high-level training for qualified people from Macao and from UNWTO members.

The first such training programme was held in June. IFT welcomed 24 representatives from Cambodia, including government officials and heritage tour guides. The group stayed at IFT’s new campus on Taipa. Their stay followed the signing in May of a memorandum of understanding between the Macao Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture and the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism.

The UNWTO recently began offering professional internships to IFT students and graduates. The first to take this exciting opportunity was IFT alumna Ms. Mandy Ho. Her year-long internship began in June at the UNWTO headquarters in Madrid. She was assigned to UNWTO’s Regional Programme for Asia and the Pacific. Her tasks include collecting and producing information about tourism, and making preparations for high-level meetings.

IFT’s emphasis on building up its international stature complements its dedication to nurturing leaders for Macao’s tourism industry and other people qualified to work in it. IFT started in this academic year a new evening programme leading to a Bachelor Degree in Tourism Retail and Marketing Management, so increasing the opportunities for education available to those already working in the industry.

With the support of the Macau Hotel Association, IFT continues to collaborate with the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, in the United States, and with the École hôtelière de Lausanne, in Switzerland, in offering executive development programmes to professionals of the tourism industry in Macao.

Making IFT a global centre also means developing a more international teaching staff. Our faculty includes academics from 20 countries and regions, who work together with our seasoned team of highly qualified staff from Macao. Our academics are regularly invited to conduct training courses outside Macao, and to act as consultants to international bodies, government departments and companies. Their knowledge and experience help broaden the horizons of our students, and are enhanced by the vast international network linking IFT to universities and tourism organisations in 28 countries and regions.

In this new academic year the internationalisation of IFT will progress and gather momentum as the Institute climbs to greater heights. Stay tuned for exciting updates.