“Quality Tourism Services Accreditation Scheme” calls for applications from catering sector in March Travel agencies also eligible for participation in 2016

QTSAS Promotion Seminar

Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) held a promotion seminar of the “Quality Tourism Services Accreditation Scheme” (QTSAS) today (22 February) to call for applications from local catering sector this year. This is the third year for the Scheme to roll out in Macao. This time, not only the catering industry is targeted but also travel agencies are eligible for application, as part of MGTO’s efforts to encourage local travel trade and related sectors to keep upgrading their service quality. QTSAS 2016 is open for applications from local catering sector from 1 to 31 March. Details for participation of travel agencies will be announced soon. MGTO is dedicated to enhancing service quality in tourism and related sectors. In 2014, QTSAS was officially launched to establish service quality standards for the tourism industry, encourage and support industry partners to enhance their service quality as well as recognize tourism merchants for their outstanding service and excellent service management. Two accolades, namely “Star Merchant Award” and “Service Star Award”, will be presented through the Scheme. The QTSAS promotion seminar was held at Tourism Activities Centre today (22 February) to introduce the assessment criteria and application procedures to catering businesses. MGTO Deputy Director Cheng Wai Tong; President of the Executive Committee of the Consumer Council, Wong Hon Neng; Head of Training and Quality Management Department of MGTO, Doris Leong; representative of Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau, Cham Iu Van; representative of the Institute for Tourism Studies Dr. Chan Ka Sik; Assistant Director, Market Research and Subsidiary Operations of Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency, K T Ting; Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of Association of Macau Small and Medium Enterprise of Catering, Lao Sam Chun; President of the Supervisory Committee of Macau Hotel Association, Noel Wong; Deputy Chairman of Association of Macao Tourist Agents, Tang Ka Man; as well as Deputy Managing Director of the Travel Industry Council of Macau, Chiang Io Kei, among others, were present at the seminar. Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency presented an introduction about the QTSAS assessment criteria at the occasion. During his speech, Deputy Director Cheng Wai Tong expressed that QTSAS has harvested fruitful results last year. The overall grade received by merchant participants was higher than that in 2014. This year, the Scheme will cover travel agencies as well. In addition, the Office will keep optimizing the flow and assessment criteria of the Scheme, while studying the feasibility to cover more different sectors. With the above efforts, MGTO hopes to extend QTSAS step by step to other tourism-related industries as well, so that overall tourism service quality in Macao can be enhanced under concerted efforts to foster quality tourism in line with the SAR Government’s endeavor to build Macao into a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure. The Deputy Director also briefed industry partners on application procedures and benefits of participation. Back in 2014, MGTO established the QTSAS Assessment Committee for effective management and promotion of QTSAS, review as well as approval on award winners. This year, the Scheme is open for applications from travel agencies as well. In light of that, the Assessment Committee is restructured with two new segments included, “Food and Beverage Industry Committee” and “Travel Agency Industry Committee”, to support the work of the Assessment Committee by conducting effective analysis from a professional angle. According to license classification, MGTO established four categories namely "Deluxe Restaurant", "First Class Restaurant", "Second Class Restaurant" and "Food and Beverage Establishments" in the Scheme. Any licensed restaurant or catering establishment which has operated its business in Macao for one year or above is eligible for participation, with a quota of 100 applications in total. Merchants interested in participation can submit an application to MGTO between 1 and 31 March. For details, please browse MGTO’s website: http://industry.macaotourism.gov.mo. Merchants who applied last year but were not drawn by lot or did not pass the assessment are given the priority to join the Scheme upon application this year. Details for participation of travel agency sector will be unveiled soon. Merchant participants are required to go through a range of assessments on their service performance and management system. Merchants who fulfill the criteria will be awarded the "Star Merchant Award", effective from 2017 until 2019. On top of that, the merchant who achieves a final score no less than 85 and gets the highest score among other winners of "Star Merchant Award" under the same category will be presented the "Service Star Award” as well. Through participation in the Scheme, merchants can also self-assess their service quality according to the assessment criteria and apply the operation guideline in their business to keep raising their service standard. Up to present, a total of 167 qualified catering businesses have been presented the "Star Merchant Award". Details about award-winning merchants are listed in the "Star Merchant Award" – Restaurants and Eateries Guide. The public can obtain printed versions of the guide from MGTO’s Tourist Information counters or download its electronic version from MGTO’s website: www.macaotourism.gov.mo.

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