Over 500 travel industry partners and media attend MGTO Annual Press Conference
MGTO officials outline this year's development plan and marketing promotion activities
Secretary Cheong with MGTO officials and representatives around the world
The new Director of Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes announced today that the number of visitor arrivals exceeded 28,000,000 last year, registering a growth of 0.3%. MGTO outlined 6 work highlights in accord with the Macau SAR Government's strategic positioning of building a "Word Centre of Tourism and Leisure".
The MGTO Annual Press Conference was held at the Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Center today (January 15), followed by the Launch Ceremony of "Tourism Awareness Campaign" presided by the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Cheong U.
During the conference, MGTO reviewed last year's tourism development. Then Director Fernandes unveiled MGTO's development scheme and marketing promotion activities this year to over 500 attendees including MGTO representatives, travel industry partners as well as international and local media. There were over 100 Hong Kong, Macau and foreign media based in Macau or Hong Kong.
MGTO expressed that, according to preliminary figures, the number of visitor arrivals in Macau amounted to 28,082,000 last year, a minor year-on-year increase of 0.3%. There were over 25,000,000 visitors from Greater China, an increase of 0.4%, whereas the number of international visitors dropped slightly by 0.5%. Nonetheless, both the number of overnight-stay visitors and hotel overnight guests rose in the past year. Specifically, the number of hotel overnight guests between January and November registered a double-digit growth.
Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan were still ranked as the top 3 visitor source markets. Last year there were close to 17,000,000 Mainland visitors, marking a noteworthy increase of 4.6%. Among the Mainland visitors, 47% came from Guangdong Province. The Thailand and Korea market both showed remarkable performance, with an increase of 17.8% and 11.5% in their visitor numbers respectively.
MGTO pointed out that the number of overnight-stay visitors in Macau exceeded 13,000,000 last year, constituting 48.4% of the overall visitors and marking a 5% increase. There were over 8,640,000 hotel overnight guests in the first 11 months, constituting 65% of the overnight-stay visitors and marking a 10.9% increase. Among them, the number of hotel overnight guests from Portugal, Korea and Australia achieved the highest growth rates of 48.7%, 21.2% and 18% respectively. The average length of stay of hotel overnight guests was 1.4 night. The total visitor expenditure from January to September amounted to US$ 28.44 billion, marking a period-on-period growth of 8%.
In terms of hotels, the average occupancy rate of Macau hotels and guest houses in the
first 11 months was 82.8%, a subtle period-on-period decrease of 0.8%; the average room rate of 3 to 5 stars hotels was US$177.10, which increased slightly by 6.4%.
The number of inbound visitors in package tour from January to November surpassed 8,230,000, a period-on-period growth of 22.5%. Among others, the number of package-tour visitors from Russia, Portugal and Taiwan, China raised the most by 122.9%, 107.3% and 71.9% respectively.
Up to date, there are 102 hotels in Macau among which 46 are budget accommodation, providing 26,719 rooms in total. Among them, 1,480 rooms are budget-accommodation rooms.
The MGTO information counters received a total of 1,390,000 visitor feedbacks and enquiries for information last year. In terms of fighting illegal accommodation, the interdepartmental working groups inspected over 1000 premises, sealed 116 premises and unsealed 220 premises last year; in addition, MGTO had waged sanctions against 58 operators, 28 touts and 12 managing staff.
MGTO completed 4 recruitments involving 77 vacancies. 48 new staff members joined the office last year. Currently MGTO has 367 employees, a rise of 12.6% compared with 2011.
In terms of the UNWTO international ranking, according to the number of international visitor arrivals in 2011, Macau was ranked the 20th position around the world and the 5th in Asia-Pacific region; according to the tourism revenue in 2011, Macau was ranked the 7th place in the world and the 2nd in Asia-Pacific region.
MGTO introduces 6 work highlights
Director Fernandes stated that it has become the strategic orientation of Macau development to build the city into a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure. In pursuit of the goal, MGTO will formulate tourism policies and measures in a timely manner. It is equally important to try to extend the length of visitor stay in Macau, and not simply the pursuit of visitor arrival numbers. This year MGTO focuses on 6 work highlights: 1. Sum up planning and research, deepen tourism and leisure system; 2. Optimize industry management and training, actively promote quality tourism; 3. Develop cultural tourism products, promote events and festivals; 4. Support community tourism, strengthen public communication; 5. Innovate promotional techniques, explore new markets; 6. Participate in international organizations, strengthen regional cooperation.
She pointed out that MGTO will launch a series of projects in accord with the 6 work highlights, including a proposal to carry out the "Tourism Development Master Plan" and formulation of a medium and long-term tourism development plan in an overall aspect; incessantly fighting against illegal accommodation; initiating a study of the demand on tourism human resources training and the project of "Tourism Awareness Campaign", etc.; continuously deepening Macau tourism product development including cultural, festive and shopping tourism; fostering the development of local small and medium enterprises while enhancing community attraction and launching the development plan for community tourism; carrying out promotion with multi-media and interactive devices, actively exploring new markets and promoting one-trip-multi-stops tourism; continuing to follow up tourism-related work as stated in the : "Guangdong-Macau Cooperation Framework Agreement" while discussing the related cooperation schemes and following up the recommendations in the "Tourism Cooperational Planning for Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau" in response to the new development in Nansha and Hengqin.
Fernandes went further to present community tourism and stated that MGTO will introduce the "Development Plan for Community Tourism" to develop community tourism in cooperation with local associations. The contents include guidebook publication, cultural festival and development of tourism information systems. The target communities are the Islands and Northern Districts of Macau.
Director Fernandes also mentioned the office will bring forth innovative promotion techniques and add "Vibrant Moment" on top of the 4 existing "Moments" in order to set off Macau's image as the "City of Events". With promotion by multi-media and interactive devices, MGTO has launched the Beta (trial) version of MGTO's new website and is going to introduce more Smartphone travel applications. On the other hand, the office plans to renovate its various information counters. In terms of marketing promotion, the office endeavors to exploit visitor source markets such as Southeast Asia, Russia, etc. and set up its market representative in Russia as well as promoting one-trip-multi-stops tourism. Meanwhile, MGTO plans to promote the High-Speed Rail tours to Macau. This year, the festive highlights will fall upon the 25th Macau International Fireworks Display Contest, the 60th Macau Grand Prix and the Chinese Lunar New Year Parade.