• Alexis Tam delivers Policy Address on social affairs and culture for Fiscal Year 2018 in the Legislative Assembly (Photo courtesy of Government Information Bureau)
  • The government will launch ‘Macao Year of Gastronomy’ to burnish the image of the city’s gastronomic diversity (Photo courtesy of Government Information Bureau)

Alexis Tam Announces 2018 Policy for Tourism and Culture

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The Macao SAR Government Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Alexis Tam, delivered the Policy Address on the areas of his portfolio for Fiscal Year 2018 in the Legislative Assembly on 30th November and 1st December, 2017. In his Address, the Secretary included the following content: constructing Macao as a 'Creative City of Gastronomy', enhancing the 'Creative City, Creative Macao' strategy, fully implementing holistic tourism, and facilitating 'cultural exchange between China and Portuguese-speaking countries'.

Enriching the 'Creative City of Gastronomy'

While introducing the Policy Address, Secretary Tam observed that the success of Macao being listed as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy and its membership of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) would increase linkage between various creative elements. He added that in order for this new title to drive development of the cultural and creative industry, it was necessary to encourage joint efforts from the tourism industry, the F&B industry as well as the cultural and creative industry to provide informative stories and articles about local gastronomy, thereby enriching the 'Creative City of Gastronomy' concept.

Alexis Tam said that the UCCN also covers design, film, literature, media arts, music, crafts and folk art. Thus, creators could harness such vehicles and combine with the element of gastronomy, utilizing technology and innovation, to fully construct a 'Creative City, Creative Macao', generating the development of various creative disciplines.

Nurturing chefs with great potential

He went on to reveal that IFT is organising a new culinary centre to nurture chefs displaying great potential. He said that a new Technical Schools Training Centre is also to be built on the Seac Pai Van CN6a site - reserved for educational purposes - and would feature an international cooking area to introduce creative ways of cooking from all around the world, providing related training to all students. The MSAR Government would further enhance the promotion, inheritance and development of community gourmet dishes in order to attract visitors to enjoy local specialities while enhancing development of the local economy.

The Secretary also revealed that this year the government would focus on promoting culture, sport activities and food product, building a maritime tourism brand, increasing the interaction and mergence within the area, further developing Macao as a tourism training centre in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

In order to fully implement the construction of a Cultural Platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, the MSAR Government will organise a number of high level cultural conventions, forums and related activities in order to build an exchange mechanism related to cultural aspects, promoting Chinese culture and the Macao story, in addition to completing the Safeguard and Management Plan of The Historic Centre of Macao.

Holistic tourism in Greater Bay Area

The highlights of new policy direction on tourism and related fields announced in the Policy Address are as follows: Firstly, active participation in the construction work of tourism in the Belt and Road Initiative. As a member of the Maritime Silk Road Tourism Promotion Alliance, the Macao SAR Government will strive to strengthen co-operation among its members, increase the influence of the cultural tourism brand of the Maritime Silk Road and promote the development of regional tourism. Studies will be conducted in the field of tourism in addition to co-operation with the MSAR's regional partners in the construction and promotion of new travel routes and tourism products with special features.

Secondly, development of the unique advantages of Macao as a tourist destination in the Greater Bay Area. The opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB), the improved highway network and continued development of the intercity railway will be used to create tourist products of thematic routes, including historical, cultural, gastronomic, hot springs, leisure, family and so forth, attracting international tourists, and building the city cluster in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area as an internationally acclaimed tourism destination.

Thirdly, the full implementation of the concept of holistic tourism to optimise and enhance the tourism environment. On the one hand, the historical and cultural characteristics of Macao will be better utilised in the enrichment of cultural experiences of visitors, in order to turn Macao into a multiple-day tourism destination. On the other hand, Smart City development will be monitored to foster intelligent tourism, with innovative technologies applied to build tourist attractions and improve the level of service delivery; the management of tourist reception capacity will be strengthened in order to provide better tourist experiences to visitors.

Activating 'Macao Year of Gastronomy', Maritime Tourism

Fourthly, the promotion of culture, sport activities and gastronomy and the creation of the brand of maritime tourism. The Macao SAR Government will launch the Macao Year of Gastronomy in 2018, with gastronomic aspects added during the various events, providing continuous support to the sector in the organisation of Macao gastronomy tours in order to elevate the image of Macao gastronomy and enrich the experience of tourists to Macao.

By organising international activities such as the 'Macao International Gastronomy Forum' and 'Asia's 50 Best Restaurants Awards', the sustainable development of the city can be promoted through creative culinary experiences as well as the fostering of exchanges between member cities of UNESCO's Creative Cities Network. Celebrities will also be invited for filming and production of programmes themed around the gastronomy of Macao for distribution to the main tourist markets via different promotional channels.

The Policy Address foresees the development of a maritime tourism brand as products enable visitors to experience another dimension of Macao. Tourism services will help the industry launch marine tourism products such as leisure tourism cruises between the Macao Peninsula, Taipa and Coloane, publicised through various promotional channels in order to brand the maritime tourism of Macao.

For more information on the Policy Address, please visit: www.gsasc.gov.mo (Chinese and Portuguese only).