The 8th edition of the Macao International Travel (Industry) Expo (MITE) is to be held in Cotai Expo at the Venetian Macao resort from 6 to 8 November. Supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, the event is organised by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) and coordinated by the Macau Travel Agency Association. Admission is free.
This year’s MITE will include six major highlights, aiming to bolster recovery in Macao’s tourism industry. It will feature, for the first time, a virtual exhibition as well as an on-site physical one. The online content is being hosted using cloud-based technology. Another novelty is the debut of a pavilion about Macao’s “distinctive shops”, a scheme launched by the Macao SAR Government earlier this year as a promotional tool.
A press conference to detail the expo’s programme took place on 28 October. It was led by MGTO Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, MGTO Deputy Director Ricky Hoi and Macau Travel Agency Association President Alex Lao.
Director Senna Fernandes stated that this year’s MITE was taking place against the backdrop of COVID-19. She added that the pandemic was having great impact on Macao’s tourism industry: MITE’s diverse programme aimed to contribute to the industry’s economic revival, unlocking new business opportunities.
The expo will continue to promote the city’s unique strengths in the field of tourism, and the significant opportunities brought by the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
Six major highlights
MITE’s exhibition floor will cover 22,000 square metres, accommodating more than 660 booths. As of 27 October, around 350 exhibitors – mainly from Mainland China and Macao – had registered to join the physical exhibition of the event. Some 50 exhibitors were to join the virtual exhibition, mainly comprising of tourism offices and similar entities, representing in aggregate a number of countries and regions.
The 2020 expo will focus on six major highlights. These are:
- Local and Mainland tour products
To help confidence in Macao’s tourism industry regarding economic recovery, the 8th MITE will exempt local exhibitors from paying a registration fee. More than 130 local exhibitors are to take part in the expo, which is 1.2 times more than were involved in the 2019 edition. The “Macao Street Zone” will feature over 200 booths, 1.6 times more than last year’s edition. Local exhibitors will promote new travel products including tours of Macao and of Mainland China. The MITE organisers will also host a lucky draw, themed “Touring Macao with MAK MAK”.
- Physical exhibition and virtual exhibition
MITE will include – for the first time – a physical and a virtual exhibition. The virtual section will be hosted in series form, with each topic area incorporating the term “Cloud” in the name. The content includes “Cloud B2B”, “Cloud Promotion”, “Cloud Contract Signing” and “Cloud Live Broadcast”.
The organisers have lined up around 50 international guest buyers for online business appointments with on-site exhibitors, via the “Cloud B2B” service. A total of 28 local industry exhibitors has registered for the “Trade Gathering – Tourism Business Exchange Session”, which will offer online connection to an aggregate of about 200 overseas professional buyers. This will provide opportunities for local industry operators to discuss the development of new tourism itineraries across Macao and other destinations.
Over 40 Mainland and international exhibitors will connect with the on-site exhibition via the “Cloud Promotion” feature, to showcase their tourism resources and interact with those attending MITE.
Exhibitors can also advertise at MITE their products with the support of key opinion leaders (KOLs), via the “Cloud Live Broadcast” feature.
- Tourism cooperation and product development in the Greater Bay Area
Over 70 tourism businesses from across nine cities in the Greater Bay Area will have a presence at MITE’s “Greater Bay Area Tourism Street”. They will offer participants a wealth of signature souvenir products featuring their respective destinations.
In addition, the Alliance for Developing Macao into the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Tourism Education and Training Base will host an online and offline panel discussion under the theme “New retail, new service concept, new opportunities”, as part of the Alliance’s “Greater Bay Area Tourism Forum Series”. The panel will allow enterprises from across the Greater Bay Area to share insights related to online and offline retail business, with the aim of fostering tourism cooperation and development, of improving travel service standards and of enhancing competitiveness in tourism in the Greater Bay Area.
- Showcasing Portuguese-speaking countries, and furthering Macao’s Sino-Lusophone exchange platform role
The Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) will set up a “Pavilion of Portuguese-speaking Countries’ Products” at MITE. The pavilion will include two zones: “Exhibition area for Investment and Business Environment and MICE Industry of Macao”, and “Exhibition area for Macao Enterprises”. The aim of the pavilion is to promote Macao’s business environment, the services offered by IPIM, the line-up of exhibitions to take place in Macao over the next two months, and to showcase products from Portuguese-speaking countries.
- “Community Cultural Creative Achievement Exhibition” and “MAK MAK Pavilion”
This year’s MITE will include a “Community Cultural Creative Achievement Exhibition”, held in partnership with the Cultural Industry Fund. It will showcase the outcome of support by cultural and creative professionals – namely through creative design and rebranding initiatives – for distinctive shops in local communities.
The “MAK MAK Pavilion” will host custom-built booths for six local small and medium-sized enterprises to promote and sell “MAK MAK”-themed souvenirs. The souvenirs, already launched into the market, are the result of a 2019 collaboration between MGTO and the Cultural Industry Fund, which saw the launch of a “Specific Financial Support Programme for the Cultural Tourism Brand Building” themed after Macao Tourism Mascot MAK MAK.
- Brand stories of distinctive shops
The Pavilion of “Distinctive Shops” is yet another novelty at this year’s MITE. It follows the launch by the Macao Economic Bureau of a programme to identify in Macao distinctive shops and eateries with local characteristics that reflect the city’s culture and diversity. The pavilion will include 16 such outlets, offering insights into their unique outlook and products, and the skills involved in making their respective products.
MITE will also feature a “Food Pavilion” where signature local delicacies will be sold, promoting Macao’s status as a City of Gastronomy under UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network.
MITE’s organisers will adopt a series of COVID-19 prevention measures for the event. Everyone attending the expo in person must wear a protective face mask, have their temperature taken, show a valid Macao Health Code, and comply with minimum social distancing measures.
The organisers will also implement regular disinfection at the venue, staggered admission hours, and measures related to food and beverage services available on site.
People wanting to attend MITE in person can book a visit via the event’s official website, available at www.mitexpo.mo. Admission quotas are available for different time slots to avoid crowding. Individuals with no prearranged booking can queue for entry, according to the actual on-site situation.
Free parking will be available at Hall A of Cotai Expo at the Venetian Macao during the event. A free shuttle bus service serving four routes will be provided, connecting MITE’s venue with various locations in the Macao Peninsula and Taipa.