IFTM is partnering with the Culture, Radio, Television, Tourism and Sports Bureau of Zhuhai Municipality, and Zhuhai Municipal Zhu Kuan Group Holdings Co., Ltd. to launch a new centre focused on tourism education in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. The 3 parties signed a framework agreement on 15 October making the project official.
The agreement signing ceremony took place at Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Centre. The Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, Dr. Alexis Tam Chon Weng, was present. The ceremony was also attended by the Vice Minister of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Zhang Xu, and by the Deputy Director-General of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR, Mr. Yao Jian, among other officials.
IFTM President Dr. Fanny Vong represented the Institute at the signing of the agreement. The new body is to be called the “Macao Institute for Tourism Studies – Tourism Education Collaboration Centre for Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area”.
The new centre is to be located on Hengqin Island, Zhuhai, next door to Macao. It will be coordinated by IFTM and offer a number of educational programmes. It aims to facilitate tourism development in the Greater Bay Area, by methods including enhancing the qualifications and skills of tourism professionals, and promoting exchanges with tourism-related entities.
The establishment of the centre follows the Central Government’s promulgation in February of the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. The plan calls for – among other things – the development of the Greater Bay Area as a prominent centre for international-standard education. The outline development plan also calls for Greater Bay Area cooperation in developing Macao as a base for tourism education and training. Such an aim had already been included in the Framework Agreement on Deepening Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Cooperation in the Development of the Bay Area, signed in July 2017 between the National Development and Reform Commission, the Guangdong Provincial Government, the Hong Kong SAR Government, and the Macao SAR Government.
IFTM has assumed its role in assisting the development of the Greater Bay Area by helping tourism and hospitality industries in the city cluster to thrive. The Institute is involved in a number of tourism education-related initiatives aimed at pushing forward the goals set by the outline development plan for the Greater Bay Area.
In 2018, an interest group called the Alliance for Developing Macao into the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Tourism Education and Training Base was formed. The Macao-based coalition brings together 3 government bodies and 10 local higher education institutions, including IFTM. The goal of the Alliance is to support Macao’s development as a base for tourism education and training for the Greater Bay Area, as envisioned by the Central Government.
IFTM also signed in academic year 2018/19 a memorandum of cooperation with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Sun Yat-sen University, for the establishment of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Tourism Research Alliance. The 3 higher education institutions – based respectively in Macao, Hong Kong and Guangdong Province – aim jointly to work on research related to developing tourism in the Greater Bay Area.