The Macao SAR Government has been organising a number of activities to attract more Mainland visitors to travel to Macao and spend more time here, seeking to expand visitor source markets and spur economic revival. Among these activities are a series of “Macao Weeks” to be staged across the Mainland.
After “Macao Week” promotions held in Beijing in September 2020, and in Hangzhou and Jiangsu’s Nanjing city in March and May respectively, “Macao Week in Shanghai” will be held from 3 to 7 June, with more cities slated to come. The event in Shanghai will feature a roadshow to promote the city’s diverse offerings, along with cuisine promotions, to showcase Macao as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy.
The event aims to promote Macao as a healthy, safe and quality destination, and to highlight Macao’s “tourism +” cross-sector integration initiatives, including “tourism + MICE”, “tourism + culture and creativity”, “tourism + e-commerce”, and “tourism + sports”.
To convey the spirit of hospitality in Macao, a variety of themed zones and booths will be set up at a roadshow organised for the event. The outdoor promotion in Shanghai will be held at the pedestrian Yuanmingyuan Road, in Waitanyuan. Included in the roadshow is a showcase of Macao’s attractions and tourism events, the city’s tourism industry, a MAK MAK Shop, sport events, and Macao’s World Heritage, Intangible Cultural Heritage and Macao Good Shop.
This showcase will offer a window onto Macao’s East-and-West cultural symphony, and the unique charm that flows from the city’s culturally diverse harmony.
“Macao Week in Jiangsu” welcomes visitors
The Macao SAR Government organised “Macao Week in Jiangsu”, along the Pedestrian Street at Confucius Temple in Nanjing, from 13 to 17 May.
The event attracted over 250,000 spectators on site and engaged over 72 million viewers cumulatively online. The hashtag “#Macao Week in Jiangsu#” received more than 28 million pageviews on Weibo.
The event was a showcase of Macao’s tourism, commerce and trade, culture, sports, entertainment – among other fields – to locals and visitors in Nanjing. It also helped promote Macao as a healthy, safe and quality destination.
Under the coordination of the organisers from Jiangsu and Macao, various governmental entities from both sides went to great efforts to prepare the event. They were supported by Macao enterprises and the city’s commerce associations.
Secretary for Economy and Finance of the Macao SAR Government, Lei Wai Nong, said at the opening ceremony that since the reinstatement of travel permit issuance for Mainland residents to Macao in September 2020, the Macao SAR Government “has seized the timing to roll out an array of promotional initiatives via online and offline channels, to highlight Macao’s image as a healthy, safe and quality destination”. These efforts included launching “special travel offers in the Mainland market, while organising a series of ‘Macao Weeks’ for destination promotion”.
Jiangsu was the third destination of the “Macao Week” event, following Beijing and Hangzhou. Secretary Lei said the latest event was “especially meaningful,” as Jiangsu and Macao are both major hubs along the Belt and Road, and members of the China Maritime Silk Road Tourism Promotion Alliance.”
Extensive promotional campaign
An extensive promotional campaign was launched to promote “Macao Week in Jiangsu” using online and offline channels across the Mainland. The activities were covered on site by more than 30 media outlets from Macao and the Mainland, and 16 key opinion leaders (KOLs) specialised in travel, photography, gastronomy, fashion and other fields conducted a total of 13 live streams or posted short videos, photos and articles about the event on their online platforms.
Macao not only has a unique culture, but the city also offers a diverse choice of cuisines, said a young couple that toured the roadshow at Confucius Temple in Nanjing. The couple got a favourable impression of Macao and was planning to spend between five and seven days in Macao during Mainland China’s National Day Holiday.
For a family with children, Macao is the first choice as a destination, said a married couple during an interview at the event. The pair had been once to Portugal, and had also planned a visit to Macao, but had to cancel it due to the pandemic.
Participating Macao integrated tourism enterprises and an airline company promoted – at the roadshow and on their platforms – their tourism products, including special travel offers worth more than RMB90million on air tickets, hotel accommodation, dining and more.
The roadshow at “Macao Week in Jiangsu” featured a total of 43 themed booths. There was an overview about Macao and tourism events, Macao’s World Heritage and Intangible Cultural Heritage, sport events, the MAK MAK Shop; a zone on trade, commerce and economy of Macao for display and sale of products made in Macao and other local brands, including items from Portuguese-speaking countries; and a showcase of Macao’s tourism industry, presented by tourism enterprises and an airline.
There was also demonstration and food sampling of “Confection of Dragonbeard Candy” – an element of Macao’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. The zones and booths greatly manifested integration across fields such as “tourism + MICE”, “tourism + culture and creativity”, “tourism + e-commerce” and “tourism + sports”.
A total of 56 sessions of spectacular performances took the main stage at “Macao Week in Jiangsu”, including a Lion Dance, Dragon Dance, Portuguese Folk Dance and Choi Lei Fat Martial Arts, all of which are part of the Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Macao. The Tuna Macanese band also performed songs in Patuá, while Macao singers gave voice to original songs composed by musicians from Macao. Macao Tourism Mascot MAK MAK was on-site to greet residents and visitors.
Macao’s MICE strengths
Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) and the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) organised the “Jiangsu – Macao Tourism and MICE Presentation Seminar” in Nanjing on 13 May, before the roadshow opened.
The seminar, featuring a business matching session, presented the strengths of Macao’s tourism and MICE industries and facilitated networking among industry delegates, while raising Macao’s profile as a healthy, safe and quality destination.
The seminar not only enhanced trade exchange and cooperation between the two cities and promoted “tourism + MICE” integration, but also enabled industry delegates from both sides to explore new opportunities for cooperation, and to develop innovative tourism products and services.
The seminar involved tourism authorities, trade representatives and the media in Jiangsu, and MGTO introduced the latest development in tourism and endeavours to revive the city’s tourism market. During the seminar, representatives of the Travel Industry Council of Macau delivered a preview of Macao Highlight Tours tailored to visitors. The scheme, launched in mid-May, allows visitors to experience Macao’s profound history, cultural landscape and “tourism+” projects (read story on Macao Highlight Tours here on this issue) .
Tasting as a promotional tool
To create a memorable impression on visitors through the sense of taste, Macanese and Portuguese cuisines were at the forefront at “Macao Week in Jiangsu”. MGTO, Jinling Hotel Nanjing and the Macau Cuisine Association rolled out the Taste of Macao Food Promotion from 13 to 26 May. It was a chance for Jiangsu residents to savour the delights of Macao’s diverse gastronomy, with exquisite dishes designed and crafted by renowned chefs.
Macau Cuisine Association vice-president Lou Chi Seng prepared 33 Macanese and Portuguese courses, to be tasted during the 14-day Taste of Macao Food Promotion. The promotion welcomed more than 5,000 patrons and included a livestreamed cooking demonstration, in which Chef Lou joined a travel KOL to introduce the essence and culinary expertise of Macanese and Portuguese cuisines.
Macao’s designation in 2017 as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy endorses the worldwide recognition of more than four centuries of culinary legacy in Macao. The Macao SAR Government incorporates gastronomic elements into “Macao Weeks” to emphasise the city’s diverse culinary culture.