“Tourism and Rural Development” was the theme of this year’s World Tourism Day on 27 September. In Macao, there were celebrations aimed at both residents and visitors to the city.
To mark World Tourism Day, the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) organised the traditional Tray Race across the Historic Centre of Macao and presented souvenirs to tourists lucky enough to be chosen from the incoming stream of visitors that day.
MGTO Acting Director Ricky Hoi welcomed tourists Mr Li and his wife, from Shenzhen, as they arrived at the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal in the morning: they were selected as this year’s “Lucky Tourists”, receiving a voucher from MGTO. The couple said they had made plans to holiday in Macao as soon as the travel permit scheme resumed in late September. Their idea was to stay three days, mainly for shopping, dining in the city centre and for sightseeing in Cotai.
Souvenirs were also presented to visitors calling at MGTO Tourist Information counters during the course of the day.
The Tray Race was run in the afternoon. The quirky event sees runners dressed in various costumes, balance a bottle of Macau Beer on a tray as they run full tilt from the Ruins of St. Paul’s, along the lanes leading through the Historic Centre of Macao, and deliver the beer intact at the finish line in Senado Square.
More than 90 runners representing 20 hotel or restaurant enterprises entered the race. The prize for winning the men’s race went to Garcia Rhoderick Robledo and the prize for winning the women’s race went to Liang Lina, both representing Venetian Cotai SA. The awards for the best costumes were won by Cheong Chi and Xian Ling, representing Future Bright Group.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) called in 1980 for World Tourism Day to be observed annually on 27 September, to increase awareness of the importance of tourism around the world, and of the social, cultural, political and economic value of the industry.