IFT students help local entrepreneurs to pilot a new tourism app

IFT students help local entrepreneurs to pilot a new tourism app

Year-four students from the Institute for Tourism Studies engaged in an industrial project led by Dr. Fernando Lourenço to pilot a new smart-phone application called eTour developed by a local startup company. This smart-phone application (app) is a platform where tour-guides can promote and sell their offerings while tourists can pick their desired services and products. The ingenious part of this app is that it can use artificial intelligence to match up the requirements from the tourists to potential tour-guides who can fulfil their needs.

Entrepreneurship course is one of the courses for Year-four students, in this project, students were divided into groups to pilot the app by building their own tour company profiles and related tourism offering on the app. Via this project, students learned more about business startups, application of technology to support business development in the tourism industry as well as to learn from successful entrepreneurs. Mr. Armando Amante and Mr. Tony Lee, the co-founders of eTour, attended the final presentations and were very happy with the outcomes. They also offered further piloting opportunities for students to help the company to further refine the app.

The teaching philosophy of Dr. Lourenço is all about bringing five-wins (5W) to various stakeholders. Firstly, the project provides real world experience to students and this can improve their CV (1W). The project must generate valuable outcomes to the clients (2W). When students and clients gain, the quality of the teaching and the degree programme at IFT improves (3W). This will boost up the overall quality of the school (4W) and this will bring positive impact to Macao SAR (5W).

In the academic year of 2018/19, IFT invited guest speakers to IFT to share their experience and to enhance students learning and interest about business startup and entrepreneurship, they include: Mr. Tai Kin Ip, Director of Macao Economic Bureau, Mr. Gregory Kuong from the Macao New Chinese Youth Association, Mr. Timothy Leong from the General Association of Chinese Students of Macau, Mr. Gary Chao Weng Hou from the Bank of China, Mr. André Ritchie, Mr. James Kit Luo, and the Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries.

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