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The Macao's Meetings industry and Chinese culture inspired the 15th IFTM-UNWTO training programme participants

MACAU, October 5 - The 15th Macao Institute for Tourism Studies (IFTM) - World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Training Programme concluded successfully on 23 September 2023. During the first three days, guided by speakers from prestigious institutions, including the Basque Culinary Center, Ducasse Paris, Academy of Gastronomy Japan, Indonesian Gastronomy Network, ROCKCHEF, Sun Yat-sen University, Macau Exhibition and Trade Association, MGM, Wynn Palace, as well as faculty from IFTM, participants engaged in discussions and gained knowledge on topics such as “Role of meetings industry” and “Vision of gastronomy tourism”. The subsequent two days were spent at the World Tourism Economy Forum, and the programme ended with technical tours and Chinese cultural experience activities.

On the last day of the programme, to enable participants to visualise what they learned and discussed in the theory classes on the first three days, technical tours to the conference and exhibition venues and facilities of Galaxy Entertainment Group and Sands China were organised for participants to learn about their operation model and latest developments. In the afternoon, they had a special experience of Macao's religious diversity and heritage led by Dr. Tammy Ku of IFTM, Mr. Ip of the National Intangible Heritage Transmitter of Na Tcha Custom and the representatives of the Na Tcha Temple Association. With the detailed explanation given by Dr. Ku and Mr. Ip, combined with witnessing one of the religious festival activities and visiting the Na Tcha Temple and the Exhibition Room, the participants learned about the history and culture of Macao, as well as the harmony of Chinese and Western religious traditions. Later, they followed the abbot of Pou Chai Sim Un (Kun Iam Tong), one of the oldest temples in Macao, and discovered its rich religious and historical stories.

IFTM also invited Dr. Lee Chau Ping, President of Art, Painting and Calligraphy Association of Macau, to show the group the painting features and basic skills of the Lingnan Painting style. With Dr. Lee's guidance, the participants created their own exquisite Lingnan paintings. Through this day’s activities, IFTM showcased Macao's role as a "base for exchange and cooperation where Chinese culture is the mainstream and diverse cultures coexist" to participants from ASEAN member states. The group expressed that they had gained insights into Macao's convention and exhibition industry, culture, and tourism resources, and also admired the efforts given by all tourism industry stakeholders in integrating the culture and tourism resources.

IFTM is a public higher education institution under the supervision of the Macao SAR Government's Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture. Its mission is to equip students with professional competencies and leadership skills for the tourism industry. UNWTO is the United Nations agency that fosters responsible and sustainable tourism development. The two parties hope, through their ongoing collaborations, to enhance the communication and cooperation among tourism authorities of different countries and regions.

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