The Tourism Development Committee (CDT) convened the first Plenary Meeting of 2022 last month, which was presided over by Secretary for Economy and Finance and Committee Chairperson, Lei Wai Nong. At the meeting, Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) introduced the latest overview of Macao’s tourism industry, unveiled its work plan for the second half of this year and listened to CDT members’ opinions on Macao’s tourism development and the plan for tourism economic recovery.
In the first four months of this year, Macao registered 2.48 million visitor arrivals and an average hotel occupancy rate of 38%, while the average length of overnight stay visitors’ climbed to 3.4 days. The single-day record of inbound visitors even peaked to about 42,000 on 30th April (during the Labour Day holidays), an all-time high for the year so far.
In order to expedite a revival in the city’s tourism industry, MGTO has planned for an array of major events and activities to unfold in the latter half of this year, such as the 10th Macao International Travel (Industry) Expo and Macao Light Festival 2022. The Office is also actively gearing up to launch a brand new event - the Food Festival for the Five Creative Cities of Gastronomy of China.
In terms of promotion, MGTO has not only launched the “Experience Macao, Unlimited” promotional campaign that features a monthly myriad of wonderful city highlights but will also carry out the mega “Macao Week” roadshows, a touring caravan in the Greater Bay Area and flash roadshows in shopping malls. MGTO has been also rolling out various promotional initiatives via platforms, travel influencers and news websites in Mainland China. In addition, MGTO has launched its Tiktok account where promotional videos are shared with viewers from potential international markets. A range of special offers on travel, hotels and air tickets are launched on different platforms to draw visitors, entourage tourism spending and inspire holidaymakers to extend their length of stay in Macao.
Different CDT members raised perspectives and suggestions on the following topics at the first Plenary Meeting of 2022: Mainland group travel, Hong Kong and international markets, TV travelogues and e-marketing, arrangements for medical observation, the Mainland’s measures on border crossing, community tourism and economy, and tourism personnel training.
A new “Educational Student Tours” is being unveiled as part of the “Stay, Dine and See Macao” project for primary, secondary and special education students in Macao. A total of 10 “Educational Student Tours” that weave together tourism resources for educational purposes are being launched this month. Every student who is a holder of Macao SAR Resident Identity Card can join one of the tours for free, and the Educational Student Tours will not take up students’ quota for participation in other local tours as Macao residents. Schools will take the initiative to arrange for their students to join the educational tours. Given the diversity of languages spoken by students in Macao, the tours will be led by tour guides who are fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin, Portuguese or English to make sure every student gets to understand every tour. The tours are expected to run until 31st July.
Each educational tour spans about five hours with eight themes in total, including “ecology”, “popular science”, “world heritage”, “Chinese culture”, “popular science education”, “application of technology”, “love for Macao and China” and “Macao’s history”. The “love for Macao and China” and “Macao’s history” tours each come with two different itineraries and all of the tours offer students a window into Macao’s history and Chinese culture, as well as instilling local young people with a deeper sense of belonging to the Motherland through these field trips.
Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) held two successive briefing sessions for participating travel agencies and tour guides to elaborate on the ten itineraries, tour logistics and to discuss what tour guides should attend in leading student tours. In addition, the Education and Youth Development Bureau also familiarised schools with the tour details at an earlier date.
The “Educational Student Tours” are operated in strict compliance with the Health Bureau’s guidelines on pandemic prevention, including the requirements to wear masks, have temperatures checked and Macao Health Code presented, among other measures. Holders of a red or yellow-coloured Macao Health are not allowed to participate in the tours. MGTO will stay tuned to the latest pandemic situation and will promptly make appropriate rearrangements for all of the activities in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Health Bureau.
Since the Macao Grand Prix Museum was reopened last summer following a massive renovation and expansion project, it has continuously promoted the culture of the Macao Grand Prix through a number of online and offline activities. These activities have been helping to enhance the appearance of Macao as an incredible tourism destination.
Between its reopening on 1st June 2021 and 31st May this year, the museum attracted a total of 50,079 visitors, 2,913 of whom were Macao residents who participated in the “Stay, Dine and See Macao” local itineraries. The museum also received 5,615 schools and associations groups, as well as carried out 895 guided tours with 11,203 participants. In order to increase public awareness of the Macao Grand Prix and to increase participation in the annual “International Museum Day”, the museum has also held some 20 parent-child workshops so far, receiving satisfactory response.
Free admission on the museum’s anniversary, with MAK MAK dressed in a motorsport outfit
To celebrate its first anniversary, the Macao Grand Prix Museum held an array of special activities as it opened free to the public on 1st June. Macao Tourism Mascot MAK MAK walked around the museum dressed in a motorsport outfit. Visitors took photos and received gifts after completing the specified missions.
New interactive games enrich the museum experience
To celebrate the first anniversary of the museum, the 2nd “Classic Car, Motorcycle Parade and Show” photography competition awards ceremony was held in the museum on the same day. The competition photos will be exhibited in the museum until 4th July.
Over the past few months, the museum has been widening its offerings to further enrich the experience of visitors in terms of fun and education. For instance, is has debuted a new 360-degree panoramic view feature and an interactive augmented reality (AR) game. Plus, next to the museum there is a café themed around the Macao Grand Prix in order to improve the museum’s existing supporting facilities and to add a new element of leisure, culture and creativity to it.
The museum has also launched an interactive AR game, “Cross the Finishing Line”, which is installed along “memory lane” on the first floor. Museumgoers can scan the QR code and become a flag waver, witnessing the thrill of motor racers dashing to the finishing line in a split second.
In the second half of this year, the Macao Grand Prix Museum will hold various activities themed on racing cars and will also promote interactive multimedia experience exhibitions to enhance the synergy effect of “tourism + sports”. It is also expected to launch a ticketing programme with the travel industry this year to enhance collaboration and promotion with the public and private sectors.
For the latest information on the Macao Grand Prix Museum, please visit the official website at mgpm.macaotourism.gov.mo.
The 10th Macao International Travel (Industry) Expo (“MITE”) will be held from 8th to 10th July in Hall A and B at The Venetian Macao Cotai Expo. The organiser is now inviting potential exhibitors to join the event. Members of the tourism industry and related sectors are being invited to exhibit so they can explore business opportunities and forge new partnerships across the fields of “tourism +”.
Supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, organised by the Macao Government Tourism Office and coordinated by Macau Travel Agency Association, the MITE will combine “online + offline” approaches to boost co-operation with the global tourism industry. It will offer “new elements” to “advance concerted development” between tourism and stronger synergy across “tourism +”.
The event area is more than 23,000 square metres in size and more than 30,000 visitors are expected to attend over the three days. The official website will also broadcast live conferences and events to the world. Last month, the MITE launched cloud invitations to introduce the event’s highlights and to present key information to potential exhibitors from tourism and related industries in Macao, Mainland China and overseas.
For more details on the MITE, please visit the official website at www.mitexpo.mo.
Organisations and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the tourism industry in the Asia-Pacific region over the past year are being called on to enter the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Gold Awards 2022. Interested parties in Macao are encouraged to submit an application by 30th June, ahead of the virtual PATA Gold Awards Ceremony on 7th October.
PATA is a non-profit organisation that acts as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. The association has held the awards for 38 years now and they have been sponsored by the Macao Government Tourism Office for the past 27 years.
This year, the association is enhancing the awards programme with two new categories in order to reinforce its position as an innovative and prestigious format for recognising the achievements of the Asia-Pacific travel and tourism industry. The two new categories will be “Tourism Destination Resilience (Global)” and “Tourism Destination Resilience (Asia Pacific)”. PATA expects to announce other new categories soon, including a top social media campaign award.
The virtual awards ceremony, which is being broadcast worldwide via PATA’s YouTube channel, will see all of the winners being announced live. There will be two “Grand Title Winners” for ‘best-of-show’ entries in the broad categories of “Marketing” and “Sustainability and Social Responsibility”. A total of 25 Gold Awards will be given out by PATA, with 14 awards and one Grand Title Winner in the “Marketing” category and 11 awards and one Grand Title Winner in “Sustainability and Social Responsibility” category.
The award entries will be judged by an independent panel of travel industry experts and any award recipient will have the opportunity to be recognised onstage at the PATA Annual Summit in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE on 25th October.
For more information, please visit www.pata.org/pata-gold-awards.
Macao district visitor statistics are now available on Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO)’s online platform, Macao Tourism Data plus (“MTD plus” or the “platform”). Platform users can view statistical data of visitors from top five places of origin to various local statistical districts. They can also click the new direct link on MTD plus to reach the Visitor Statistics Database on the website of Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) for a convenient search of more tourism data.
Macao district visitor statistics and duration of stay
MTD plus newly offers Macao district visitor statistics under the column of Tourism Statistics Tables, which include statistical data of visitors from top five places of origin to popular local statistical districts in terms of number and proportion, as well as their average duration of stay in these statistical districts. The figures can be downloaded by users in two formats. Users can opt for graphic tables as in PDF files or data tables in Excel, for their own preference and further use.
The platform also posts a new direct link to DSEC’s Visitor Statistics Database, where users can conveniently check out visitor figures by visitor characteristics, visitors’ length of stay and repeat visitor arrivals among other data.
Continuous betterment of MTD plus
Since the launch of Macao Tourism Data plus in 2015, MGTO has kept optimising the platform with an expanding spectrum of features. Following addition of new statistical indicators, multi-language options, subscription service and Golden Week statistics, the platform now debuts Macao district visitor statistics, namely statistical data of visitors from major places of origin to popular statistical districts in Macao.
At present, MTD plus presents a range of tourism statistics such as interactive data, Golden Week statistics, distribution maps of visitor source markets and tourism statistics tables.
With respect to the feedback of users and industry operators, MGTO will continue to optimise the features of MTD plus to maximise users’ convenient reference to local tourism statistics. The public is welcome to access and subscribe to Macao Tourism Data plus: http://dataplus.macaotourism.gov.mo/?lang=E.
A total of 14 hotels in the city have been given the 2021 Macao Green Hotel Award, in a programme that is organised by the Environmental Protection Bureau in collaboration with the Macao Government Tourism Office.
Among this year’s awardees, in the hotel category, Nüwa, Hotel Okura Macau, Sands, MGM COTAI and Morpheus won the gold award. The silver award winners were the Grand Emperor Hotel, The Countdown Hotel and the Broadway Hotel. The bronze award winners were the Riviera Hotel Macau, Waldo Hotel and Crowne Plaza Macau. In the economic hotel category, Holiday Inn Express Macao City Centre and I Fu Hotel each received a Green Guesthouse Award, while the City Inn was awarded a Basic Certificate.
The award-winning hotels achieved some remarkable results in reducing operating costs and improving its green practices by carrying out an environmental protection management. The measures included not providing disposable tableware, or using glass bottled water production line instead of disposable plastic bottles of water to reduce plastic waste. The achievements also included applying new environmentally friendly refrigerants in heat pumps for hot water supplies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and providing recycling bins in the guest room.
For more details on the “Macao Hotel Green Awards”, please visit www.dspa.gov.mo/greenhotel.
A new “Made in Macau” shopping area has been set up at the Grand Lisboa Palace Resort Macau. The area showcases an array of designs and products that have been produced in Macao, including catering, jewellery, cultural and creative products, clothes and many other wares.
The established brands include Wong Chi Kei, 853+Concept Store, Counting Stars, Innocent Monkey Club Café, MACCREW, Wabi-Sabi Express, and DVM 3½ Chasing Dragon Jewelry. There will also be a “Happy Gift” selling point managed by the Fuhong Society of Macau in the shopping area. The proceeds from the selling point will go towards the society’s services as well as other cultural and creative projects for the disabled.
For details of the “Made in Macau” shopping area, please visit www.grandlisboapalace.com/en/shops/made-in-macau.
The Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, has been awarded by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). She was given the PATA Chair’s Award for her “support, help, loyalty and dedication” to the works of the association to promote a responsible development of the tourism in the Asia Pacific region, during the tenure of the immediate past PATA Chair. The award was announced during the 71st PATA Annual General Meeting held online on 13th May.
Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes said she was “grateful and honoured” for the recognition and she acknowledged that she must share it with her MGTO team “for the efforts made to keep our active engagement in PATA’s initiatives despite the COVID-19 pandemic”. She also dedicated the award to Macao’s tourism industry.
PATA also gave Andrew Jones, the founder and Guardian of Sanctuary Resorts in Hong Kong, the PATA Life Membership award. This is the association’s highest individual honour, recognising significant leadership and invaluable dedication to PATA.
Liz Ortiguera, PATA’s CEO, acknowledged the “valuable contributions and support” of both award recipients to “PATA and the entire travel and tourism industry” and said their achievements “should inspire us all to work harder for the swift recovery of travel and tourism”.
Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) organised a Seminar on International Protocol Skills at the end of May, delivered by the former Director of the Protocol, Public Relations and External Affairs Office, Fung Sio Weng. The seminar, which attracted around 140 participants, helped hotel and tourism-related personnel to attain professional enhancements and upgrade the level of service, and in preparation for the return of the international tourism market in the post-pandemic future.
The guest speaker Fung Sio Weng elaborated on the differences between Chinese and Western diplomatic etiquette and the formula of diplomatic protocol. The seminar also covered the difference between the concepts of protocol and public relations, as well as China’s administrative division of municipalities in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) and different standards of guest reception. The seminar aimed to deepen industry participants’ application of the GBA and international protocol skills, jointly tapping into the opportunities for cultural tourism development in the GBA.
MGTO provides training opportunities that are tailor-made the for professional enhancement of members of the travel industry and related sectors. These opportunities are designed to enhance levels of service quality and overall work efficiency in the tourism industry, in line with Macao’s transformation into a world centre of tourism and leisure.
The Macao Government Tourism Office has launched a series of videos to showcase the city’s unique Sino-Portuguese history and gastronomic culture. The videos are designed to take visitors on a travel experience around Macao’s food and attractions.
The latest video is called the “Sino-Portuguese Special Series: Visit to Hong Kung Temple and Senado Square”. Two local Macanese, Casimiro de Jesus Pinto and António José Dias Azedo, lead viewers on a tour of the Hong Kung Temple, Senado Square, the Dom Pedro V Theatre and other UNESCO World Heritage sites in the city. They also talk about the cultural history of the city along the way and introduce Chinese dim sum and Macanese culinary delicacies at local distinctive eateries, showcasing the Chinese and Portuguese gastronomic culture of Macao.
“Sino-Portuguese Special Series: Visit to Hong Kung Temple and Senado Square” (First part - available in Chinese version)
“Sino-Portuguese Special Series: Visit to Hong Kung Temple and Senado Square” (Second part - available in Chinese version)
In order to showcase some of Macao’s other unique tourism elements, another video of the series, “Exploration of the Macao Grand Prix Museum”, promotes the culture of the Macao Grand Prix in an interactive manner. In the video, local Macanese Casimiro de Jesus Pinto and Macao racer Jerónimo Badaraco, along with a group of children visit the Macao Grand Prix Museum to see its collection of racing exhibits and of a deconstructed motorcycle. They also experience the excitement of a racing simulation, which the museum highlights as one of its exhibits that focuses on “teaching through fun”.
“Sino-Portuguese Special Series: Exploration of the Macao Grand Prix Museum” (Available in Chinese version)