Macau ambassadors getting ready for Shanghai Expo

Thursday, April 8, 2010
Issue 981, Page 2
Word count: 762
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

A total of 140 local residents including 19 from the Institute For Tourism Studies (IFT) will be heading to Shanghai as early as the mid of this month to promote Macau at the Shanghai Expo.

Some of the volunteers and IFT students attended a workshop last night at the IFT where they learned about operations of the Macau Pavilion and Tak Seng On Pavilion and also background information of the Expo.

The IFT students, who are or will be in their third year of study in the Tourism Business Management, Tourism Events Management or Heritage Management program, are going to use the Shanghai Expo as an internship opportunity and be mainly responsible for customer service there.

The first batch of nine IFT students will stay in Shanghai from April 15 to August 31, whilst the another 10 will be there from August 15 to October 31.

As for the remaining 121 Macau ambassadors, each of them will volunteer in the Expo for a month starting April 15.

The Macau Preparation Office for the Expo 2010 Shanghai is giving training to the volunteers and interns focusing on pavilion operations, customer service as well as first aid.

The first aid workshops will be held at the Macau University of Science and Technology Hospital.

They are also required to arrive in Shanghai some days earlier in order to receive on-site training.

Annie Leong On Lai, who are studying Tourism Business Management at IFT, said that she felt “honoured” to be able to participate in such a major event.

“As a student I wan to witness the strength and power of our motherland during the Expo as China has put a lot of money into it,” she told reporters.

Apart from the Macau Preparation Office, she said the IFT is also offering training to them so that they will all be “well-prepared” for the Expo.

“I expect to learn about how a large-scale event is organised, the cultures of Shanghai and China as a whole, and most importantly the skills and etiquette for receiving guests including VIPs,” the Year 3 student said.

“The experience is definitely going to benefit my studies and future career, [because] the World Expo is such a big event that the whole world knows about,” she added.

Another IFT student having been selected for the internship opportunity is Daniel Chong Cheng Hang, also from the Tourism Business Management program.

He said he wanted to promote to the world that “Macau is an international city and not just about gambling but has a lot of cultural heritage to offer.

“What I hope to learn from the Expo is the cultures and languages of different people around the world and also to improve my communication skills,” he told reporters.

In order to better equip himself before setting off, he also said that recently he’s started to “watch more mainland Chinese television programs, pay more attention to news about Shanghai and also to practice Mandarin”.

Meanwhile, according to Christina Ieong Pou Yee, chief of the Macau Preparation Office, a total of around 1,000 local people applied to be volunteers in the Shanghai Expo.

Of the 600 candidates who applied to the Macau Preparation Office, about 120 were selected to specially promote Macau at the Macau Pavilion and Take Seng On Pavilion.

“Through the current training workshops we hope the volunteers to learn more about Macau and raise their sense of belongingness to Macau,” Ieong said.

“The participation of IFT students, who will be wearing their uniforms in the Expo, is to promote the institute to the world so that people know what Macau has done for its tourism industry,” she added.

In regard to the selection criteria, Ieong said the ambassadors’ “appearances are important”, adding that they also need to demonstrate “positive characteristics and be delightful since they’re there to promote Macau”.

Moreover, Ieong said in addition to Cantonese, English and Mandarin, some of the volunteers also speak French or Japanese.

And it’s not only students that are going to represent Macau. Ieong said a number of the volunteers come from the hotel industry and take annual leaves in order to participate in the Expo.

“The enterprises are also very supportive and encouraged their employees to be part of the event,” she said.

The Shanghai Expo is going to kick off on May 1 and run until October 31 this year.

Located between Nanpu Bridge and Lupu Bridge along both sides of the Huangpu River, the entire expo venue occupies 5.28 square kilometres and more than 240 countries and regions are going to exhibit there.

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