Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) and the Portuguese Association of Travel and Tourism Agencies (APAVT) organized a promotion session for tourism government officials, operators and media about the 43rd National Congress of APAVT, which to be held in Macao from 23rd to 27th November, on 23rd May in Lisbon.
The theme – 'Tourism: In the East, All New!' - and logo of the Congress were unveiled by APAVT during the session, with some 500 Portuguese tourism operators and travel agents slated to attend to learn about the latest tourism offers and opportunities. The event was held in Macao nine years ago.
The session was attended by the Secretary of State for Tourism of Portugal, Ana Mendes Godinho, MGTO Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, the President of the Portugal Tourism Board, Luís Araújo, APAVT President Pedro Costa Ferreira, legislator members of the Working Group for Tourism of the Portuguese Legislative Assembly, representatives of several regions of the Portugal Tourism Board, heads of tourism associations plus APAVT associates and media, among others, for a total of around 170 guests.
During the session, the Secretary of State for Tourism of Portugal, Ana Mendes Godinho, noted that “the organization of the Congress of APAVT in Macao represents the unique golden key that will close this great year for Portugal-China relations. Clearly, we will have a very significant moment on July with the inauguration of direct flights between Lisbon, Beijing and Hangzhou; also, throughout the year we have been developing a string of intensive initiatives in order to reinforce the presence and promotion of Portugal in China."
MGTO Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes expressed that MGTO is confident that the congress will result in more networking between operators, promote new travel packages in the market, and bring more Portuguese tourists to Macao, improving the positive results of last year and reinforcing the good historical relationship between China and Portugal. She pointed out that the event complements the Protocol on Co-operation in Tourism signed last year by Macao and Portugal to reinforce relations and stimulate tourism co-operation at different levels, aligned with Macao's goal of becoming a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure and a commercial and trade co-operation service platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries.
APAVT President Pedro Costa Ferreira remarked he was happy to see the Congress travel abroad this year because Macao, as a tourism destination, is a kaleidoscope of emotions, cultures, stories and people. Also, because Macao represents a whole global economic centeredness that is moving East, with the city embodying a true window of change of the economic structure that is being heralded.
On 24th May, MGTO Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes had a meeting in Lisbon with the President of the Portugal Tourism Board, Luís Araújo. During the meeting, the two sides updated their tourism situation, discussed preparations underway for the National Congress of APAVT in Macao, as well as the enhancing of bilateral and multi-destination tourism co-operation and exchanges. They also discussed the possibilities brought about by the imminent launch of direct flights between Portugal and Mainland China, among other topics.