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Collaboration of Sands China and MPU boosts Macao Smart Tourism

The Collaboration between Sands China and Macao Polytechnic University (MPU) aims to strengthen research on smart tourism, technological innovation, and talent development by deepening exchanges between the academic and business sectors.

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Sands China and Macao Polytechnic University (MPU) joined forces Friday to accelerate the development of smart tourism in Macao by signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) and co-hosting a smart tourism symposium at The Londoner® Macao.

Per the MOU, Sands China will send senior management personnel to serve as guest lecturers or speakers at MPU, with the goal of promoting the development of smart tourism in Macao in line with international standards.

Dr. Wilfred Wong, president of Sands China Ltd., said: “Creating high-quality travel experiences and innovative smart services is poised to become the primary focus of the future tourism industry. To achieve this, Sands China is thrilled to sign a memorandum of understanding with Macao Polytechnic University, forging collaborations across various aspects, including smart tourism.”

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Dr. Wilfred Wong, president of Sands China Ltd

Intelligent Tourism Training: Dialogue Generation System

The event also featured a demonstration from a new school-enterprise cooperation project that applies artificial intelligence to Macao’s leisure industry. The project’s tourism training software features a real-time dialogue generation system that is based on Language Large Models (LLMs).

Developed by a team from the Faculty of Applied Sciences at MPU, the Sands Learning Buddy (Sandy) system combines foundational data provided by Sands China with the language generation capabilities of LLMs powered by artificial intelligence technology. Through reinforcement learning with human feedback (RLHF), the dialogue generation system produces comprehensive, high-quality, and accurate local travel information.

Team members received training in tourism information during the symposium by interacting with the system through asking questions. In the future, the system can assist travellers in itinerary planning, sightseeing, transportation and dining, and provide recommendations for popular spots.

Professor Im Sio Kei, Rector of MPU, said: “(…) MPU and Sands China signed our MOU and we hope this collaboration of education and enterprise allows us to leverage our respective advantages in teaching, research and practice in the areas of technology and tourism and leisure industries, contributing to Macao’s profile as a world centre of tourism and leisure and to Macao’s high-tech development.”

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Professor Im Sio Kei, Rector of MPU

Smart Tourism Symposium

Participants in the Smart Tourism Symposium discussed the development of Macao as a smart tourism city and how to nurture smart tourism technology professionals. Symposium sessions revolved around topics such as the evolving landscape of smart tourism, its current status quo, utilisation, and the opportunities and challenges it brings about.

One aim of the symposium was to utilise Macao’s resources and advantages in order to deepen academic and practical exchanges based on the principle of “professional exchange and talent cultivation.”

Representatives from advisory entities, including the Macao Government Tourism Office, the Macau Productivity and Technology Transfer Center, the Macau Hoteliers & Innkeepers Association, and Macao Pass Group Holding Ltd., attended and shared their insights.

The symposium was an initiative of the Sands Hospitality Academy, which seeks to equip the company’s hospitality practitioners, such as hotel and restaurant managers, with practical skills and knowledge to help them exemplify international industry standards for exceptional levels of service quality and performance.

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Guests of honour officiate the opening ceremony of the smart tourism symposium at The Londoner Macao

In line with the Macao SAR government’s policy of “building Macao with talent,” Sands China has been committed to close collaboration with the government, top universities, and educational institutions to cultivate young talent and industry elites. The initiative also supports the “1+4” model, where the government consolidates the development of the city’s tourism and leisure industry while putting special emphasis on promoting the development of four new key industries, including high-tech.

MPU actively supports mainland China’s and Macao’s development, leveraging its academic advantages to launch new courses focusing on the development of Macao’s industries. It aims to cultivate high-quality talent for Macao, with a particular emphasis on nurturing applied interdisciplinary talent. The fostering of technology start-ups as well as tourism and leisure management talent will contribute to the upgrading of software, hardware and services in Macao’s tourism industry, instilling new momentum into its development and continuously enhancing the competitiveness of Macao as a tourism city.

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