Macao Special Administrative Region’s Chief Executive, Ho Iat Seng, announced a series of initiatives for the city’s benefit supported by the Central Government at a press conference on 24th September in the Government Headquarters, together with the Secretary for Administration and Justice, Cheong Weng Chon, and the Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lei Wai Nong.
Among the measures announced was the reinstatement of electronic travel permit issuance under the facilitated individual travel scheme, and the gradual resumption of group tours from Mainland China visitors to come to Macao. The measures apply to four provinces and one city in Mainland China, and will first be available to people in Guangdong province, and then to those in Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Fujian provinces, along with Shanghai municipality.
The reinstatement of e-travel permit issuance and group tours are expected to be resumed the earliest by the end of October or early November. The group tours will need to be suspended if there is a severe outbreak in Macao or any of the other relevant place but the subsequent resumption will not require additional approval from the Central Government.
Following the announcement, on the topic of resuming group tours from the Mainland, the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) immediately discussed the promotion and implementation plans with the tourism industry, which included the Association of Macao Tourist Agents, the Macau Travel Agency Association and the Travel Industry Council of Macau. The organisations discussed strengthening both online and offline promotions in the Mainland and encouraging the local industry to actively cooperate with travel agencies in the Mainland to grab the new opportunities, while safeguarding Macao’s image as a safe and quality destination. In the meantime, MGTO continues to enhance its online and offline promotion offensive in Mainland China and reinforce the city’s events, to expand visitor sources to the city.
To welcome the National Day golden week holiday between 1st and 7th October, the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) has prepared a series of online and offline tourism activities and promotions in the hope of attracting more tourists to visit the city and to boost the tourism and economy’s recovery.
2022 National Day Fireworks Celebration and community tourism activities
The 2022 National Day Fireworks Celebration lit up the sky above the sea overlooked by Macau Tower on 1st October in celebration of the 73rd Anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China, drawing lots of local and visiting spectators for the dazzling moments. Close to 80,000 viewers enjoyed the live stream of the National Day Fireworks Celebration on two popular social media in the Mainland, which enabled Mainland residents to experience the festive vibes in Macao.
A number of community tourism activities supported by MGTO are also being launched, including the Splendid Island - Community Tourism guided tour and the Discovering Macao - Community Tourism guided tour both held between 1st and 7th October. Other activities include the Tour Macao FUN Fair and the Nostalgic Coloane and Heritage Tour which both take place on 1st, 2nd, 8th and 9th October. The 22nd Southeast Asia Food Carnival runs between 6th and 9th October and the Beauty in Village - Taipa Market 2022 takes place between 30th September and 9th October. A Celebration of Art & Culture - Artistic Lantern Festival is held between 29th September and 31st October.
Macao Grand Prix Museum promotes new features, MGTO launches special offers
New features are available at the Macao Grand Prix Museum from 1st October. The museum is launching a new Formula 3 simulator that highly resembles the design of a Formula 3 car cabin. Along the “memory lane” on the first floor, two other new interactive games, “The Classic Start” and “I Am a Racer”, will also expand the AR view features of the museum.
MGTO has also partnered with an array of e-commerce companies to promote 50% off hotel coupons and “buy-one-get-one-free-plus” air tickets across a range of platforms during the National Day Golden Week Holiday. Plus, MGTO has arranged for TV advertisements to be aired across a variety of visitor source markets. In terms of promotional events, MGTO is also rolling out the Experience Macao, Unlimited caravan roadshow series across the Greater Bay Area as it continues to brand and highlight Macao as a safe and quality destination.
During the National Day Golden Week Holiday, MGTO is conducting patrols at various tourist spots, ports of entry and districts while also overseeing hotels’ implementation of measures against the pandemic. MGTO inspectors are standing by round-the-clock. Tourist Information counters will tend to visitors’ enquiries and MGTO’s Tourism Hotline - (853) 2833 3000 - will maintain its 24-hour operator service. Residents and visitors can visit MGTO’s website www.macaotourism.gov.mo or follow MGTO on WeChat - ID: MGTOweixin - to learn more about the latest tourism information, events and festivals.
The 2022 meeting for fostering the implementation of the Culture and Tourism Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (referred to “the Plan”) was held online last month. At the meeting, representatives of the respective culture and tourism authorities from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao each gave a presentation on the progress of their respective work. The research and study group of the Plan issued its 2021 annual research report on the implementation of the Plan, pointing out that 86.9% of last year’s “key work” had been completed, summarises the results and problems in the process of its implementation, and presented a series of countermeasures.
Ku Mei Leng, Chief of the Office of the Secretary for Economy and Finance, spoke at the meeting, saying that the Macao SAR government had adopted the Plan as an “action plan”. She added that the local government was planning a series of works in the areas of culture and tourism. This year, she said, preparatory work for the establishment of the Joint Working Commission “One Base” had been implemented to improve the cultural exchange and cooperation mechanism between the Mainland and the local government. At the same time, she added, in line with the objective of “building a leisure bay”, the local government was continuing to develop Macao as a world centre for tourism and leisure and to deepen the intersectoral integration of “tourism +” in the city. She also said it was continuing to solidify the interconnectivity between the cities of the Greater Bay in tandem with the economic recovery and the resurgence of the tourism industry in the region.
Gao Zheng, the Director of the Office for Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China, acknowledged that new breakthroughs had been made when it comes to deepening the cultural and tourism exchanges and cooperation across the Greater Bay Area. He also acknowledged that breakthroughs had been made when it comes to coordinating cultural and tourism developments in the Greater Bay Area and he put forward suggestions on how better to promote such developments in the area in the future.
Representatives of the Propaganda Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Propaganda Department and the Economics Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao Special Administrative Region, the Asia Tourism Exchange Center and the Exchange Department of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council also spoke in the meeting.
The Plan was jointly promulgated by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, the Office of the Leading Group for the Development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the People’s Government of Guangdong Province on 24th December 2020 to help further implement the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. Within the framework of the Leading Group for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay, the relevant departments of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao continue to strengthen in terms of communication and coordination. The relevant departments of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao have established a good working practice to promote the implementation of the Plan and to serve as a link for the daily work. The first meeting on the joint implementation of the Plan was held in 2021.
The Macao Government Tourism Office and the Shandong Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism jointly signed the first tourism cooperation framework agreement on 21st September, promoting cooperation and exchange in the tourism development in Shandong and Macao.
The agreement allows both parties to take full advantage of each other’s resources in terms of tourism and it also allows Shandong and Macao to promote tourism cooperation projects together in the future. Other advantages include the fact that both parties can jointly craft cooperation models, they can improve efficiency when it comes to cooperation projects and they can also offer a range of convenient tourism benefits to each other as a result of the agreement.
Plus, the agreement strengthens cooperation in the future in areas like construction projects in scenic areas, industrial development, consumer services, publicity and promotion, tourism festivals and personnel exchanges. It also promotes the high-quality development of the tourism industry in both places.
Macao has close relations with Shandong Province and the tourism authorities of both places are members of the China Maritime Silk Road Tourism Promotion Alliance. The agreement was signed ahead of the 10th Macao International Travel (Industry) Expo held between 23rd and 25th September in the city that was joined by a delegation from the Shandong Province government.
The 10th Macao International Travel (Industry) Expo (referred to “MITE”) has been hailed as a success and attracted more visitors than the previous two editions. The three-day event, which took place between 23rd and 25th September was held in an online and in-person format, drew more than 30,000 visitors as well as facilitated 29 contract signings and a total of 4,564 business-to-business meetings.
This year, the exhibition floor covered an area of 23,000 square meters and accommodated 830 booths. It engaged 454 exhibitors, 26 of which exhibited solely online during the event and they were mostly international exhibitors. A total of 199 local exhibitors were at MITE in person, as were the 229 exhibitors who hailed from the Mainland. There were also 306 buyers at MITE, with 81 of those joining the event online and the other 225 in person.
The 10th Macao International Travel (Industry) Expo was hailed as a success
Cloud Live Broadcast notched up 3.06 million live views
MITE’s Cloud Series activities were enriched over the three days to develop online business opportunities in a variety of ways. Cloud invitations were newly rolled out to call for buyers and exhibitors online from different sectors and regions.
A total of 33 tourism entities, enterprises and key opinion leaders (KOLs) from near and far conducted 24 Cloud Live Promotion sessions, engaging with more than 900 on-site spectators. The cumulative number of live views for the Cloud Live Broadcast reached 3.06 million, in which 12 e-commerce and social media platforms assisted exhibitors in promoting their products and running live-stream sales. A total of 40 on-site exhibitors also took part in the live streams.
The MITE facilitated online and offline signing of 29 contracts, involving 49 enterprises. The number of days for Cloud B2B almost doubled compared to the last edition, which aimed to offer ample time for exhibitors and buyers to reach cooperation, with 111 exhibitors being lined up with 306 buyers for 530 online business-to-business meetings. For on-site business matching, more than 4,500 business-to-business meetings were conducted. The “Agreement on In-depth Cooperation Between Hengqin and Macao Travel Trade” was also signed on the first day of MITE.
There were 52 tourism presentation sessions, forums and activities during MITE. The “Stay, Dine and See Macao” project launched its MOP10 community tour routes in celebration of the event, with a total of 620 residents signing up for the tours. Familiarisation visits were also arranged for 118 hosted buyers to explore communities on the Macao Peninsula and in Coloane in depth.
Three pavilions were set up to promote cooperation and build exchange platforms
MITE once again highlighted Macao’s role as a Sino-Portuguese platform. The new Lusofonia Pavilion gathered exhibitors from various Portuguese-speaking communities in Macao, where local enterprises and distributors of food commodities from Portuguese-speaking countries promoted distinctive products from Macao and Portuguese-speaking countries. A Promotion Seminar of Tourism Products from Portuguese-speaking Countries was also conducted and live streamed to familiarise the Mainland’s travel trade with the latest trends and cultures of the world’s Portuguese-speaking countries.
The Guangdong-Macao In-Depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin ran its first themed zone at MITE too to introduce its development plan and progress in tourism and other sectors. As part of the proceedings, hosted buyers paid a culture-and-tourism familiarisation visit to Hengqin to further cooperation on multi-destination travel and to march forward with the new collaborative mechanisms of “one conference, two cities” and “one exhibition, two cities”.
MGTO continued its promotion on the city’s Travel Stimulation Programme for wedding tourism. The Macao Wedding Destination Pavilion was new to the event this year and showcased around 10 wedding businesses from Macao and the Mainland. A familiarisation visit was arranged for hosted buyers to inspect wedding travel venues in Macao so that they could develop strategic partnerships in the city’s wedding tourism industry. In addition, the High-level Forum on Greater Bay Area Tourism Development 2022 and the 2nd Macau Wedding Destination Forum 2022 were held during MITE.
The Oktoberfest Macau at MGM will be staged in the city again between 20th and 30th October with a new party concept under the theme CHEERS, MACAU!. Taking place at MGM Theater for the first time, the event boasts a lineup of bands and pop stars from the Mainland and Macao, together with the theatre’s technology and lighting effects.
Oktoberfest Macau at MGM will offer an array of staple German foods such as pork knuckles, roast chicken and pretzels. These treats will pair with the Löwenbräu beer, which is one of the Munich breweries that are permitted to sell beer at Oktoberfest in Germany.
The Party Night takes place between 6:00pm and midnight every evening during the festival. There is also a Family Lunch Day that’s held every Saturday and Sunday between 11:00am and 3:00pm. Tickets are available at the MGM Theater Box Office at MGM COTAI and the hotel reception at MGM Macau’s main lobby.
Organised by the Macau Culinary Association and supported by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), Macao Institute for Tourism Studies (IFTM) and Wynn Macau, the Young Chef Young Waiter Macao competition final is to be held at Wynn Palace on 18th October. The winners in the Macao final will go on to compete against their international counterparts from England, the Cayman Islands, Ireland, Wales, the United States, Canada and India at the World Young Chef Young Waiter final in Monaco on 15th and 16th November.
The young catering personnel who are battling it out in the competition are all aged 26 or under and all have a minimum of three years of hospitality experience. Four chefs and four catering servers from Macao were triumphant in the local semi-finals that were held at the IFTM last month and they now go through to the citywide final.
At the semi-finals, they were assessed by a range of criteria pertaining to the culinary arts, including the appropriate application of their professional skills, the good use of their key ingredients, the overall balance of their menu and the taste, texture and flavour of their dishes. Another judging panel assessed the performance of the catering servers in terms of table setting, cutlery layout and catering service knowledge.
MGTO believes that participation in the prestigious World Young Chef Young Waiter competition, which has been going for more than four decades, inspires a new generation of people working in the local catering sector to exchange ideas with other international professionals on a global stage. They can widen their horizons and gain valuable experience which will lead to greater culinary expertise, more knowledge about the catering industry and better skills.
The Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), in cooperation with Wynn Macau, the Education and Youth Development Bureau (DSEDJ) and the Macao Institute for Tourism Studies (IFTM), launched a series of Macanese Cuisine Culinary Heritage Master Classes, which will run until April next year.
Following last year’s cooperation to present master classes with renown Chinese cuisine chefs, this year, with the theme of Macanese cuisine, the series has invited local chefs to present seven Macanese cooking demonstrations to catering staff and students in the city. The master classes aim to deepen the understanding of its participants on the cultural heritage of Macanese cuisine and to stimulate creativity in the industry by encouraging the participants to inherit the city’s Macanese culinary culture through both observing and exchanging cooking skills with the experts and each other.
The first session of the series was held at the end of last month. It was led by the team of Henri’s Galley, who gave a demonstration of the preparation of typical Macanese African chicken and minchi dishes. Chefs from IFTM, the Macau Culinary Association, La Famiglia and Neta Club Cooking Studio, along with two specialists in Macanese cuisine are invited to conduct the next six sessions.
In 2012, Macanese gastronomy was included on Macao’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List. In November 2020, MGTO partnered with IFTM, Cultural Affairs Bureau and IIM to launch the Macanese Cuisine Database webpage (www.gastronomy.gov.mo/#macanese-cuisine-database) and a themed area in the IFTM library was also launched which covered Macanese gastronomy. The area provides a series of recipes, manuscripts, books and publications about Macanese cuisine, which all help to preserve this culinary heritage that has evolved over at least the past four centuries. Plus, just last year, Macanese gastronomy was added to the list of items that represent the National Intangible Cultural Heritage of China.
Docomomo Macau, the non-profit organisation that promotes public interest in and recognition of modern architecture in the city, launched a guidebook called Macau Modern Architecture - Walking Guide last month. The publication features the most significant and iconic examples of 20th century modern architecture in Macao.
The guidebook is made up of eight recommended tours in eight areas of the city that each take walkers around an array of buildings that have been constructed in different periods of modern urban development. The eight areas are Penha Hill, Inner Harbour, Praia Grande, Guia Hill, Reservoir, Mong Ha, Toi San and Coloane Island.
Each walking tour highlights the key iconic architectures on display in that particular area. For example, the book introduces not only the famous tourist sites like the Red Market, Long Va Tea House and Cinema Alegria but also the C.T.T. Housing Block and Lou Kung Chi Tai School in the Mong Ha area. In addition, other sites of interest are also mentioned in the book for walkers to pay attention to when they are following a particular tour.
Rui Leão, Chair of Docomomo Macau, says that the idea of creating Macau Modern Architecture - Walking Guide was conceived back in 2016. He believes that this book can raise people’s awareness - especially in the case of Macao residents - about some of the buildings on the walking tours as he reckons some should be better preserved and protected. He believes modern architecture has a role to play in the city’s heritage and in telling the story of the development of Macao. In addition, he says that this book aims to encourage all readers, including tourists, to experience Macao from a different perspective when they observe and appreciate the unique architectural styles on the walking tours. The buildings themselves have become part of the city’s identity.
The guidebook is published in both traditional Chinese and English and a total of 500 copies of the book’s first edition have been issued. They are on sale in four Macao bookstores: Pin-to Livros & Musica bookstore, the Portuguese Bookstore Livraria Portuguesa, Júbilo 31 books and the Macao Polytechnic University Library. The guidebook is also available on the International Institute of Macau’s online bookstore at www.iimacau.org.mo/bookshop/index.php/en.
The second Incubation Plan for Macao’s KOL in Tourism programme has launched two courses under the theme of “gastronomy promotion” for residents in the city: a Content Creation Training Camp and Master Classes. A total of 80 places are being provided after the application process was completed last month.
Incubation Plan for Macao’s KOL in Tourism promotional video
Last year, the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) launched the first Incubation Plan for Macao’s KOL (key opinion leader) in Tourism training programme for Macao residents aged 18 and above, which was a big hit.
This year, the Content Creation Training Camp invites Macao food bloggers and expert tutors to share their knowledge and experience in creating promotional posts and videos on short video platform Douyin and social network platform Xiaohongshu with the enrolled 50 trainees. The food blogging trainees must then create and post two short videos on either Douyin or Xiaohongshu before the programme organisers select 10 outstanding trainees according to their overall performance in the training camp.
The new Master Classes, on the other hand, caters for 30 experienced KOLs from Macao who will participate in the training programme between now and December. The classes serves as an incubator for Macao’s food bloggers as well-known gastronomic KOLs and experts from the Mainland share their knowledge on getting the best out of social media platforms in terms of marketing and promotion.
In addition, during the 10th Macao International Travel (Industry) Expo (MITE), MGTO held the “FOODIE Meeting! Creative Course of Gastronomy Bloggers” sharing session on the event’s main stage on 25th September. Guest gastronomical digital influencers from the Mainland and Macao shared their many experiences and the stories behind their online creations with MITE participants.
Organised by MGTO and coordinated by the Macau Live Streaming Association, the second Incubation Plan for Macao’s KOL in Tourism programme aims to encourage Macao residents and the city’s tourism industry to leverage their social networks in a bid to spotlight Macao as a wonderful destination with an array of diverse experiences on offer.
A total of 35 trainees successfully completed the first programme’s requirements last year. Ten of them, including four tour guides, were awarded honorary “Outstanding Content Creator on Tourism” certificates.