IFT trains Cambodian tourism officials and heritage tour guides

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MACAO, June 17, 2016 — The Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT) has been organising a 7-day professional training programme from 14 to 20 June for the officials from APSARA National Authority and heritage tour guides of Cambodia. This is IFT’s first-ever training programme specially designed for Cambodia and the first bilateral cooperation project after signing the Memorandum of Understanding between the Macao SAR Government and the Ministry of Tourism, the Kingdom of Cambodia.

There are 4 tourism-related officials and 20 heritage tour guides to participate in the training programme which is themed the Capacity Building of Tour Guides for International Visitors at Ankor World Heritage Site, Cambodia. The programme will strengthen the professional capacity of the Cambodian heritage tour guides through lectures, workshops and visits to the world heritage sites of the Historic Centre of Macao. During their stay in Macao, the participants were received by Dr. Tam Chon Weng, Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture.

The training programme is lectured by IFT Academic Coordinator of Heritage Management and Tourism Business Management bachelor degree programmes Dr. Sharif Shams Imon, Visiting Professor Dr. John Ap, Assistant Professor Dr. Cora Wong, as well as Mr. Ong Chin Ee, Lecturer, Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore. The scholars share their expertise with the participants and have discussions together on varies topics, including the importance of quality visitor services at heritage sites, understanding international tourism and tourists, providing quality visitor experience through guiding, presenting a world heritage site to visitors, working with host communities, management of visitors at a heritage site and developing strategies for quality visitor experience at Angor Wat. At the end of the training, the participants are divided into small groups for presentations as conclusions.

On 30 May 2016, the Macao SAR Government and the Ministry of Tourism, the Kingdom of Cambodia, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate in promoting sustainable tourism development through enhancing human capital and establishing collaborations in tourism education and training between Macao and Cambodia. Earlier on October 12, 2015, Macao SAR Government and United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Macao. The objective was to enhance cooperation between the two parties in improving the quality of human capital and increasing the competitiveness of tourism destinations (particularly in the Asia Pacific Region) in order to achieve sustainable tourism development. The Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training, soon to be set up by IFT, is tasked with the responsibility to organise training and education programmes, and other projects in collaboration with UNWTO, to achieve the objectives set out in the Memorandum. This training programme for Cambodian tourism officials and heritage tour guides is the first training cooperation organised in collaboration with UNWTO.

Institute for Tourism Studies, Macao (IFT)

Established in 1995, the Institute for Tourism Studies, Macao (IFT) offers the most extensive selection of tourism and hospitality related bachelor degree programmes in Macao, and about twenty thousand participants attend its vocational and professional training courses annually. IFT collaborates with 97 universities and tourism organisations around the world, and builds strong links with 500 leading tourism and hospitality corporations to offer internship opportunities to its students. Being the first institution accredited by the UNWTO.TedQual Certification System for tourism education, IFT has now 7 bachelor degree programmes with the Certification. Currently, the Institute has the most number of bachelor degree programmes certified under the System of any tertiary education establishment worldwide. IFT has received the Medal of Merit in Tourism from the Macao SAR Government, and won twice the Gold Award in ‘Education and Training’ from the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).