The Cultural Heritage Specialist Guide Training and Certification Programme (CHSG) developed by UNESCO and IFT is celebrating its 10 years

The representative of UNESCO presented a token of appreciation to Dr. Fanny Vong, President of IFT

In 2005, within the framework of Asian Academy for Heritage Management established with the support of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), UNESCO and the Institute for Tourism Studies, Macao (IFT) have jointly developed the Cultural Heritage Specialist Guide Training and Certification Programme for UNESCO World Heritage Sites and IFT’s faculty designed the outline and content of the programme. The programme has been recognised by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) with the 2007 PATA Gold Award under the category of "Education and Training", and by the World Heritage Committee at its 31st Session as “a best-practice example of an initiative aiming at integrating the conservation of World Heritage within the wider sustainable development framework for the benefit of local communities." Since 2005, IFT has been providing consultancy and training to Asian Pacific countries and regions, namely Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Mainland China and Macao SAR. The programme is celebrating its 10 years this year. Till now, this programme has trained up 123 professional cultural heritage guides in Macao and they play an important role to promote cultural heritage tourism in Macao. The Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA) under the Prime Minister’s Office of Thailand, which is also the main project partner of UNESCO Bangkok Office for the Cultural Heritage Specialist Guide Training and Certification Programme, paid a study trip to Macao a few days ago to study about the Cultural Heritage Specialist Guide Training and Certification Programme offered by IFT. The delegation is composed of the Deputy Director of DASTA, directors of historical parks, representatives of UNESCO and Ministry of Tourism and Sport, top trainers as well as lecturers of Naresuan University. IFT is still a very important key player in this programme because it has a lot of experts and experiences to share with the rest of the region,” said Ms. Linina Phuttitarn, from the Culture Unit of UNESCO Bangkok Office. Dr. Fanny Vong, President of IFT, Ms. Diamantina Coimbra, Director of Tourism and Hotel School, Dr. Sharif Shams Imon, Coordinator of Heritage Management Degree Programme and Dr. Cora Wong welcomed the delegation and introduced IFT’s work and success in particularly the role in offering and supporting the CHSG Programme. Also, both sides shared the challenges and the sustainability of cultural heritage conservation in Thailand and Macao.

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