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Wednesday, March 25, 2015, 17:46

Innovation in tourism: Macao shows the way

By Selena Li in Hong Kong
Innovation in tourism: Macao shows the way
Team “Mercury”, the first-prize winner at the business contest, floated the idea of providing services of shooting and making 3D photo albums for family tourists. (P rovided to China Daily)

The final of Macao @ 15, one of the region’s largest college student business presentation competitions, took place last weekend.

At the University of Macau’s new Hengqin campus, the fifth Business Presentation Contest organized by Asia-Pacific Communication Exchange Association witnessed six teams from colleges in Macao and the mainland compete to find novel new business ideas for the Macao SAR’s tourism industry.

“Such a combination of English presentation and innovative business ideas would show a very dynamic side of students in Macao, and there is great potential for expanding the contest to other tourist cities in Southeast Asia,” said one of the judges, Adrian Villanueva, professor and guest lecturer of Asia Pacific Business at National University of Singapore.

The contest, initiated in 2010, blends English language learning and practical business skills.  It is designed to inspire Pearl River Delta region college students to contribute to Macao’s transformation into a world-class tourism and leisure center.

Macao’s troubled gaming industry experienced its steepest ever year-on-year decline in February as gross gaming revenue dropped to 19.5 billion patacas ($2.45 billion), a 48.6 percent fall.  Visitor arrivals fell to 2.47 million in January, a 1.5 percent year-on-year drop, according to official statistics.

“It was not until the workshop session when we visited all the sightseeing sites that we realized the need to divert attention from the gaming industry to the other bright spots of Macao,” said Ann Liang, team leader of the first-prize winner team “Mercury”. Offering family and group tourists services such as help in shooting and making 3D photo albums, was among their ideas.

“If Macao wants to go international, it’s imperative for students to speak English fluently. And students in Macao would have the edge, as it’s natural for them to pick up English as a second language while speaking Mandarin,” Villanueva told China Daily.

“We still hope to see at least a third of the population enhance their English proficiency to a professional level in order to promote meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions industry,” said Sylvia Ieong, director of the Rector’s Office of the University of Macau. Ieong added that English was the key to help build and maintain friendship with Macao’s global business partners.

The Asia-Pacific Communication Exchange Association is a non-profit organization aimed at supporting scholars in the communication and media fields.  It also plans to promote academic exchange activities, accelerating the development of communication in the Asia-Pacific region.

selena@chinadailyhk.com

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