Since the release of the Macao Tourism Industry Development Master Plan in September 2017, 67 short-term action plans have unfolded with relevant tasks being followed up under the concerted efforts of several public entities and the private sector.
Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) delivered the Macao Tourism Industry Development Master Plan (referred to as the “Master Plan”) on 28 September 2017, mapping out an overall plan for construction and management of the tourism economy. The Master Plan addresses ten key issues about the tourism industry with 8 key objectives, 33 strategies, 29 planning proposals and 91 specific action plans proposed. The various action plans also cover the current policy directions and future work plans of different departments in charge of implementation.
The action plans are for short-term (0-5 years), medium-term (6-10 years) and long-term (above 10 years) implementation, encompassing an inclusive blueprint for tourism industry development at all levels and a relevant guide for future actions.
Within the year after the Master Plan was released, 67 short-term (0-5 years) action plans have unfolded with their relevant tasks being followed up, leading to progressive realization of the key objectives and planning proposals presented in the Master Plan. Under the concerted efforts of several public departments and the private sector, implementation of the short-term action plans under the eight key objectives has reached new progress as follows:
1. Diversify tourism products and experiences: different tasks have commenced including supporting local businesses to introduce water sightseeing tours, progressively unveiling the remodeling project of the Macao Grand Prix Museum, launching unique cultural performances and festivals, rolling out an array of activities for the “2018 Macao Year of Gastronomy”, widening and optimising the choices of nighttime entertainment and leisure activities, as well as introducing smart tourism technology at existing attractions.
2. Improve service quality and skills: to bolster the professional and career development of tourism industry professionals, the departments concerned continue to organize various training programmes related to tourism development, besides the sustained operation of the Quality Tourism Services Accreditation Scheme (QTSAS) to encourage and support local business to enhance their service culture.
3. Rebrand Macao as a multi-day destination and expand high-value markets: continue to partner with industry operators from different visitor source markets to launch diverse local themed tour products tailored for high-value market segments including silver hair, young adult, family and affluent visitors; enhance marketing for multi-day tour packages; promote Macao’s image as a cultural destination under the theme of gastronomy.
4. Optimise urban development model: different departments are exploring the possibilities of developing potential tourism areas into new tourist attractions to re-create new activity spaces for residents and visitors; encouraging industry operators to launch recycling programmes through various environmental measures while continuously improving the pedestrian environment, to foster the sustainable development of the tourism industry and the city as a whole.
5. Manage Macao’s tourism carrying capacity: the entities concerned continue to conduct studies on the city’s tourism carrying capacity; conduct site management and develop corresponding strategies for crowded tourist attractions especially during festivals, holidays and peak travel periods; conduct inspections at various ports of entry and tourist attractions, leading to more effective management of Macao’s tourism carrying capacity.
6. Utilise innovative technology: push forward smart tourism development in parallel with the Special Administrative Region Government’s strategy to develop Macao into a smart city; confirm the technical details for the tourism information interchange platform; optimise visitors’ trip experience by releasing the status of tourist spots and attractions through smart technology.
7. Enhance tourism industry cooperation: strenuously evaluate and refine tourism-related laws and regulations as well as the licensing system, in addition to the launch of the “Price List Submission System for Restaurants, Night Clubs and Bars” to enhance service quality in the tourism industry in parallel with the development of e-government services.
8. Enhance Macao’s position as a core tourism city in the regional and international tourism community: promote Macao as a travel destination in countries along the Belt and Road including Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar among others to advance regional cooperation; in line with the strategy to foster the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area development, participate and push forward the work of the Tourism Federation of Cities in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Bay Area, besides paying visits to cities in the Greater Bay Area together with Macao’s industry delegates to enhance exchange with their tourism departments and travel trade; actively participate in various meetings and activities organized by international tourism organizations to enhance Macao’s participation in international tourism affairs.
In response to the ever-changing surroundings and latest tourism development, MGTO will regularly examine the progress of the Master Plan implementation by various departments, obstacles encountered during the process as well as their corresponding proposed solutions, so that suitable amendments can be made to the Master Plan during mid-term evaluations.
The “Macao Tourism Industry Development Master Plan – Comprehensive Report” and the “Macao Tourism Industry Development Master Plan – Summary Report” are available for download from the following link: http://masterplan.macaotourism.gov.mo/home-en/index.html.
The Country’s Belt and Road Initiative and the Macao SAR Government’s vision to build Macao into a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure have opened up a new horizon of possibilities for Macao’s tourism industry advancement. In 2015, MGTO began studying and formulating the Master Plan to devise systematic plans on building and managing the tourism economy. Guided by the goals listed in the Five-Year Development Plan (2016-2020) of the Macao Special Administrative Region, the Office has laid a blueprint to guide the future development of Macao’s tourism industry in the next 15 years in tandem with the city’s commitment to become a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure. Following the efforts, MGTO delivered the Master Plan in September 2017.