The “Macao Ready Go! Local Tours” project attracted almost 140,000 participants taking more than 4,300 tours around the city, according to preliminary data. The initiative, launched to support gradual resumption of tourism activities in Macao, offered 25 different itineraries, available between 17 June and 30 September.
The project’s popularity among Macao residents was evident: a survey of participants found a satisfaction level among interviewees exceeding 85 percent.
The project inspired the development of new tourism products and yielded economic benefits for local businesses.
The 25 tour itineraries included 13 “Community-based Tours” and 12 “Leisure Tours”. About 60 percent of participants opted for “Leisure Tours” and the most popular was the “teamLab SuperNature” Tour, which attracted more than 37,000 participants. More than 15,000 participants signed up for the “Maritime Tour”, the most popular among “Community-based Tours”.
The next most popular tours were: “Experience Macao by Land, Sea and Air”, taken by about 19,000 participants; “Love the Country, Love Macao – Local Tours in Macao” that had about 9,800 participants; and “A Trip to the Farm for Kids – A Leisure Trip to the Grand Coloane Resort”, which had about 8,500 participants.
With more than 30,000 applicants, the “Helicopter Ride Experience” Local Tour was a great hit. Given its appeal, the organiser twice increased quotas. Nearly 2,600 participants joined the tour and enjoyed a sky-high panoramic view of the city.
About 78,000 residents joined one local tour, or about 72 percent of all participants, with almost 29,000 residents joining two tours, representing about 26 percent. Another 580 residents joined three or more tours. One resident took part in nine local tours, which was the highest single number of tours undertaken by an individual.
Most participants were aged between 55 and 64 – this group represented more than 20 percent – followed by children of age 14 or below.
The “Macao Ready Go! Local Tours” project yielded more than MOP56 million in economic benefits for Macao, according to a preliminary report. The subsidies granted for tour participation amounted to about MOP38 million and tour participants spent about MOP17 million, which included tour fees and extra expenditure. The MOP100 Macau Pass E-Consumption Cards distributed on “Community-based Tours” saw about MOP4.98 million spent in communities.
Under strict guidelines, the Macao SAR Government granted a subsidy of MOP280 to each eligible Macao resident for each tour they joined. Holders of the Macao SAR Permanent Resident Identity Card or the Macao SAR Non-Permanent Resident Identity Card were entitled up to a maximum of two subsidised tour participations (one per category), i.e. a total per-person subsidy of MOP560.
A total of 151 travel agencies were commissioned to provide services to the project, involving the participation of 445 tour guides and 508 coach drivers as well as the use of 501 tour buses, six open-top tour buses and one barrier-free tour bus for wheelchair users.
MGTO collected about 15,000 questionnaires and conducted an analysis of applications and participation counts, economic benefits and results of the satisfaction survey, among others. The provisional report found more than 85 percent of interviewees were satisfied with tour arrangements. About 92 percent of interviewees were satisfied with the performance of their tour bus drivers, while about 90 percent of respondents were satisfied with the professional performance of tour guides. About 85 percent of those surveyed agreed that the tours enhanced their understanding of Macao’s tourism offering.
There were 91 complaints generated among the 140,000 tour participants. The issues chiefly involved adjustments to tour itinerary and tour guide service due to weather and/or other factors. Other issues included misunderstandings caused by some travel agencies being unfamiliar with the local tours.
The “Macao Ready Go! Local Tours” project was part of the plan for economic recovery introduced by the Macao SAR Government to support gradual resumption of tourism activities in Macao, following a decline in business caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In tandem with other measures such as the launch of the “Macao Ready Go!” online platform, the goal was to stimulate spending – namely via promotional offers linked to tourism and related sectors – in businesses across different communities in Macao, supporting small and medium-sized enterprises.
“Macao Ready Go! Local Tours” was coordinated by MGTO, sponsored by the Macao Foundation, and undertaken by a task force formed by Macau Travel Agency Association, Association of Macao Tourist Agents and Travel Industry Council of Macau.
MGTO plans to further conduct an extensive, in-depth study about the economic benefits of the “Macao Ready Go! Local Tours” project for the tourism and hospitality sectors.