Published on : Tuesday, March 7, 2017
For the last three years, Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) has put the Quality Tourism Services Accreditation Scheme (“QTSAS” or “the Scheme”) into practice. After going through suitable adjustments and optimization, the Scheme now calls for new applications from the catering and travel agency sectors from 13 March to 13 April. MGTO held two QTSAS Promotion Seminars today (6 March) to encourage businesses from both sectors to join the Scheme.
MGTO Deputy Director Cheng Wai Tong; Head of Consumer Arbitration Centre of Consumer Council, Ao Weng Tong; Head of Training and Quality Management Department of MGTO, Doris Leong; representative of Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau, Thomas Cham; Lecturer of the Institute for Tourism Studies, Kirk Yan; Chairman of Macau Hotel Association, Samuel Yeung; Vice Chairman of the United Association of Food and Beverage Merchants of Macao, Elizabeth Chung; Chairman of Association of Macau Small and Medium Enterprises of Catering, Vincent Ieong; Vice Chairman of Association of Macau Small and Medium Enterprises of Catering, Lao Sam Chun; Chairman of Macau Travel Agency Association, Kunio Shiga; Vice President of Travel Industry Council of Macau, Paul Wong; Assistant Director, Market Research Business and Subsidiary Operations of Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency, K. T. Ting, as well as Assistant General Manager, Training and Knowledge Development of Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency, Edmond Fung, were present at the seminars among others. The seminars introduced the QTSAS assessment criteria and application procedures.
During both seminars, Deputy Director Cheng Wai Tong remarked that after putting QTSAS into practice for the last three years, MGTO has gained more experience and ideas from industry partners; he believed the right time has come to evaluate the Scheme. Together with the QTSAS Assessment Committee and the technical support team, MGTO has evaluated the assessment system and operation of the QTSAS, followed by suitable adjustments and optimization to simplify the application procedures in order to attract more applicants and encourage awarded merchants to keep joining the Scheme and enhancing their service quality. In his addresses to the catering businesses, he also highlighted the preparation work started by MGTO for Macao’s application to become a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network – a City of Gastronomy. He exhorted catering businesses to maintain their remarkable service and food quality to jointly forge Macao into a City of Gastronomy.
The honor of Star Merchant Award for catering businesses was originally valid for three years. After adjustments and optimization of the Scheme, starting from 2017, winners of “Star Merchant Award” in the catering sector are no longer required to apply for entry into the Scheme every three years after their award expires. Instead, they need to go through annual supervision and appraisal. Those who meet the prescribed criteria and pass the appraisal can remain on the list of Star Merchant Award winners for the next year. They can also freely choose whether to be pitted against other qualified businesses for the “Service Star Award”. In addition, MGTO also raised the level of the criteria required for catering businesses to meet before entering the assessments for “Service Star Award”, and made the score on food quality account for a greater proportion of the overall assessment. In terms of the travel agency sector, the Star Merchant Award is valid for two years as in the past. However, instead of allowing only the head offices of licensed travel agencies in Macao to participate, the Scheme is now open to any head office or branch office appointed by licensed travel agencies for participation. The award system has also been adjusted for both sectors.
The quota of participating businesses is 30 for the travel agency sector this year, whereas no limit is set on the quota for the catering sector. Interested merchants can submit applications to MGTO from 13 March to 13 April.
MGTO officially launched QTSAS in 2014 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 and practitioners for their outstanding service and excellent service management, in line with Macao’s goal to become a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure. Two accolades, namely “Star Merchant Award” and “Service Star Award”, will be presented through the Scheme. In the first two years, the Scheme targeted the catering sector, until last year when the scope was extended to cover travel agencies as well.