Tourism training focuses on sustainable planning

The Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training of the Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT) recently held a training program on sustainable tourism in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Held across eight days, a total of 17 participants from several different countries and regions gathered for training on the topic of “Capacity Building for Sustainable Tourism Planning and Regional Development.”
The theme addressed topics such as tourism policy, development and management of cultural heritage resources, and how to successfully manage the development of a destination.
The program, which ended yesterday, also included a panel on “The Greater Bay Area and opportunities for collaborative tourism development.”
The Director of the Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training, Professor John Ap, told the Times that the theme was based on the needs of the participants.
“This is a collaboration with UNWTO … it had [been] discussed with its member states and identified their needs. Once they nominated certain countries, we then sent out a profile asking potential participants and candidates to identify and let us know what their training needs and expectations are,” the professor explained.
“Based upon this, we prepare a program to address their training needs – and that is important. […] They tell me what they need and I respond accordingly,” he added.
The program featured a mix of lectures, presentations and site visits of a technical nature, under the supervision of scholars from IFT and local and international experts. Course participants also attended a tour and presentation at the MGM Cotai integrated resort. The visit focused on the environmental sustainability program and corporate social responsibility practices in place at the property.
For Ap, Macau is to be established as a hub for tourism education and training, thus maximizing its tourism resources.
“This creates greater awareness of Macau not only as a tourism destination, but also of the fact that we have [the] capabilities to offer good training based upon the resources and reputation of us as a tourism education institution,” said Ap.
“Fortunately, Macau is blessed with very good tourism resources and attractions,” he added.
Meanwhile, one of the participants, Manuela Liliana Muresan from the Ministry of Tourism of Romania, said that she would share the knowledge she gained at the seminar with her bureau.
“The information we accumulate is really good for our country. So we’re going back home with good knowledge that we will implement in our policies,” said Muresan.
“The professor was good at describing the process of planning, including tourism, heritage and transportation. For that, I will go back to Romania and will [try to] implement a better tourism masterplan for the country,” she said.
Since the center’s inception, approximately 170 participants from 28 countries and regions have taken part in similar courses.
The center was set up in 2016 following a memorandum of understanding signed between the local government and UNWTO. The agreement covered topics including the enhancement of human capital for the tourism industry and the promotion of sustainable tourism in the Asia-Pacific region.

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