Macao Institute for Tourism Studies (IFTM) has received a prestigious PATA Gold Award for Human Capital Development. The Gold Award was in recognition of the value of the Institute’s annual Tourism Education Student Summit – the TEd Summit.
The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) said the TEd Summit showcased the best student research and proved IFTM had made good on its promise to nurture professional talent. The TEd Summit was also commended for its role in connecting future industry leaders and current key industry stakeholders.
The awards presentation was broadcast online on 24 September and acknowledged 23 organizations or individuals that have made an outstanding contribution to tourism marketing, sustainability, and human capital development. This year’s awards drew 121 entries from 62 different entities or individuals.
IFTM’s day-long TEd Summit sees the best daytime program students in the final year of their Bachelor of Science studies present the findings of their respective research thesis/project. The individual research thesis/project requirement for undergraduate study helps equip students with the knowledge and skills to identify problems, to monitor trends and to make informed decisions.
During TEd Summit, students discuss their findings with panels of business executives, government officials and select industry leaders. The event – introduced in 2016 – enables business executives to learn about the next generation of qualified industry professionals.
It is the third time IFTM has claimed a PATA Gold Award. In April 1997, the Institute was awarded a Gold Award in the Education and Training category for the high quality of its educational programs. The second award came in April 2002 and recognized the Institute’s role in developing the Macao Occupational Skills Recognition System, a training and certification scheme that currently applies to 15 skilled occupations in the tourism and hospitality industry.
This year’s precautions related to controlling the COVID-19 pandemic have prevented large group gatherings, which saw the ceremony for the Gold Awards 2020 moved online. The winners were announced during the Online PATA Gold Awards Presentation as part of Virtual PATA Travel Mart 2020. For the 25th year, the awards were sponsored by the Macao Government Tourist Office (MGTO).
MGTO Director Ms. Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes commended “Gold Awards participants for keeping alive the spirit of innovation” and for “helping to raise the bar across all sectors of the industry”.
Since the academic year 2015/2016, the research thesis/project has been mandatory for Bachelor of Science candidates enrolled in daytime programs at IFTM. The thesis requirement has gained international attention and, on the strength of their completed research, seen many students invited to international conferences to share their findings.