MACAO, December 6, 2017 – Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) has been carrying out the “Quality Tourism Services Accreditation Scheme” (“QTSAS” or the “Scheme”) for four years in a row. This year, the Scheme continues to target the catering sector and travel agencies. Studies will take place on the feasibility of covering other sectors in the Scheme as well. Including the winners of 2017, a total of 233 catering businesses and 37 travel agencies have been presented the “Star Merchant Award” since the Scheme was first launched. The Office hosted a QTSAS Awards Gala Dinner tonight (5 December).
Different personages were present at the Gala Dinner including the Chief of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Ip Peng Kin; MGTO Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes; President of the Executive Committee of Consumer Council, Wong Hon Neng; MGTO Deputy Director Cecilia Tse; Head of Department of Environment, Hygiene and Licensing of Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau, Fong Vai Seng; Acting Vice Director of Tourism College of the Institute for Tourism Studies, Connie Loi; President of the United Association of Food and Beverage Merchants of Macao, Chan Chak Mo; Vice Chairman of Macau Hotel Association, Ben Leong; President of the Board of Directors of Association of Macau Small and Medium Enterprises of Catering, Vincent Ieong; Vice President of the Association of Macao Tourist Agents, Kenny Cheung; Vice Director of Macau Travel Agency Association, Daisy Lei; President of Board of Directors of Travel Industry Council of Macau, Andy Wu Keng Kuong; and Director of Corporate Affairs of Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency, Bess Choi, among others.
During the Dinner, MGTO Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes delivered the heartfelt congratulations from the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Alexis Tam to the Awards winners. She remarked that with Macao’s new designation as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, the scheme of “Macao’s Year of Gastronomy” will be launched next year to promote the cultural image of Macao under the theme of gastronomy. She hopes that not only the catering sector but also the tourism industry and the cultural and creative industries will make great efforts to carry on and innovate on Macao’s gastronomic culture, enrich the offers of Macao as a City of Gastronomy and consolidate this world-renowned status. Through education and training, related industry professionals will be cultivated so that the gastronomic culture and skills can be passed on to the next generations.
Director Senna Fernandes added that the new designation will bring in new models of development that recognize creativity as a strategic factor of diversified and sustainable development in Macao. She hopes that the creative momentum of gastronomy can propel other cultural and creative industries and tourism-related sectors, inspiring collaboration among the tourism, catering as well as cultural and creative sectors for a burst of synergistic effect as all join hands to inherit and revive Macao’s cultural legacy. She also encouraged members of the trade to tap into the city’s historical and cultural gems, apply innovative ideas and combine different cultural and creative elements, as well as harness emerging media and advanced technology to further promote the development of cultural tourism and smart tourism.
MGTO launched QTSAS in 2014, with the objectives not only to establish service quality standards for members of the tourism industry but also to support and encourage them to upgrade their service quality. The Scheme also aims to recognize tourism businesses for their outstanding services and excellent service management. QTSAS gives out two accolades namely “Star Merchant Award” and “Service Star Award”. Since the Scheme was rolled out for the catering industry in the first two years with good results achieved, the Office has extended the scope of the Scheme to include travel agencies as well starting from last year.
Based on license categorization, MGTO set up four categories including “Deluxe Restaurant”, “First Class Restaurant”, “Second Class Restaurant” and “Food and Beverage Establishments” in the Scheme. During the process, the participating catering businesses were given two types of assessments namely “Mystery Shopping Assessment” and “Service Management System Audit” with regard to their frontline service and management level. For the sector of travel agencies, the participating businesses had to go through “Traveller Satisfaction Survey” besides the two aforementioned assessments. With the experience gained from the past three editions and opinions collected from the trade, MGTO, the jury committee and the team of technical support had evaluated the system of assessment and the execution of the related work. The Scheme was rolled out again this year after suitable adjustments and optimization.
This year, 74 qualified catering merchants were presented the “Star Merchant Award” in recognition of their outstanding tourism services. Four of them were also presented the “Service Star Award” because of the highest score they received in their respective categories. In addition, a total of 9 qualified travel agencies were presented the “Star Merchant Award”. Moreover, to commend travel agencies which provided their patrons with high-quality services in and beyond Macao, the Office conferred the “Service Star Award – Inbound Service” and “Service Star Award – Outbound Service” to the two “Star Merchant” travel agencies which met the prescribed standard and received the highest total score for “Inbound Service” and “Outbound Service” respectively.
Since QTSAS was launched, MGTO has held an array of highly-participated training courses and professional accreditation courses targeting the demand of the participating and award-winning merchants, supporting them to keep enhancing their service quality. In addition, MGTO has kept promoting the Scheme via different channels and has produced brochures with lists of award-winning merchants, including the “Star Merchant Award – Restaurants and Eateries Guide” and “Star Merchant Award – Travel Agency Industry” for distribution at various Tourist Information counters. The public are also welcome to browse the lists of award-winning merchants on MGTO’s website: www.macaotourism.gov.mo.
MGTO will continue to roll out QTSAS and optimize the current system of assessment and incentive for the catering and travel agency sectors, while conducting studies on the feasibility of covering other sectors as well in the Scheme. In addition, the Office will make ongoing endeavors to support and assist industry partners to organize training programs in order to foster quality improvement in services provided by the tourism and other related industries, in line with Macao’s goal to become a world centre of tourism and leisure.