The Tourism Development Committee convened on 18 May the first Plenary Meeting of 2021. The meeting of the CDT (CDT, under its Portuguese acronym) saw members raise various opinions and offer suggestions on Macao’s tourism development, the recovery of the industry and the economy.
The meeting was presided over by Macao SAR Government Secretary for Economy and Finance and CDT Chairperson, Lei Wai Nong. He told the meeting the COVID-19 pandemic had posed immense challenges for Macao. A combined effort, with continual support by the travel trade, meant Macao had attained progressive achievement towards tourism recovery, he said.
He indicated that schemes “to expand visitor source, revive the economy and secure employment opportunities” and the “2021 Scheme for Employment Security, Economic Stabilisation and Care for Residents’ Livelihood” would see Macao’s tourism sector and economy grow steadily – particularly with the COVID-19 vaccination programme underway.
Secretary Lei said the Macao SAR Government would work to systemically deepen cross-sector integration of the “tourism +” strategy, elevate the competitiveness of Macao’s tourism industry, and steer other emerging industries towards growth. The authorities would also make efforts to expand visitor sources, spur economic revival and secure the labour market.
Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Deputy Directors Cheng Wai Tong and Ricky Hoi offered an overview of the current situation in the tourism trade, and information on the sector’s recovery.
In the first four months of 2021, average daily visitor arrivals and the average hotel occupancy rate both showed an upward trend, according to provisional data.
The average daily volume of visitor arrivals rose from 18,000 in January to 26,600 in April. In terms of average hotel occupancy rate, the average rate during January was 41%, while in April it rose to 60.1%.
The average hotel occupancy rate across the Labour Day holiday period from 1 to 5 May reached 83.2%, a 23.1-percentage-point surge compared to April. The average length of a visitors’ stay in January-April 2021 was 1.7 days, a year-on-year rise of 0.2 day, and the average length of stay for overnight visitors in the same period was 3 days, a year-on-year rise of 0.3 day.
By the end of April, the scheme “to expand visitor source, revive the economy and secure employment opportunities” had seen the Macao SAR Government distribute 3.62 million cash vouchers, with RMB40.29 million cashed, which drove transactions worth RMB888 million. Some 1.96 million hotel coupons were distributed, with 350,812 room nights redeemed.
The Macao SAR Government has delivered a series of initiatives to spur a revival in tourism. Among the schemes are the “Stay, Dine and See Macao” programme, promotions in partnership with e-commerce companies, joint promotions for “tourism + MICE”, and the “Macao Week” promotions in Mainland China.
Some of the new products delivered were the Macao Grand Prix Museum, community tourism initiatives, and Macao Highlight Tours, recently launched by the city’s travel trade.
MGTO will continue presenting “Macao Weeks” to promote the city as a healthy, safe and quality destination, and to bolster the confidence of travellers. The office will join hands with the Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute to organise tourism and MICE presentation seminars in the Mainland to foster trade and expand business opportunities.
Among the topics raised at May’s meeting by CDT members were cross-border travel, group travel, wedding travel, supporting MICE facilities, e-payment by Mainland visitors, leading visitor flow into communities to benefit small- and medium-sized enterprises, and boosting measures for vaccination.
Secretary Lei expressed his gratitude to attendees for offering their valuable opinions. He hopes attendees will continue offering insightful perspectives that may foster Macao’s tourism development and moderate diversification of the economy.