Since the release of the Macao Tourism Industry Development Master Plan (referred to as the “Master Plan”) in 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. The level of implementation reached 81%.
Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) delivered the Master Plan in 2017, mapping out an overall plan for tourism industry development with 8 key objectives, 33 strategies, 29 planning proposals and 91 short-, medium- and long-term action plans proposed, in line with the Special Administrative Region Government’s goal to build Macao into a world centre of tourism and leisure.
MGTO solicits regular reports of work progress for the Master Plan from various departments and presented an update on the implementation progress of the Master Plan to the Tourism Development Committee, to follow up with the implementation of the Master Plan. Among the 69 short-term (0-5 years) action plans, 67 of them have unfolded with relevant tasks under follow-up, while 56 of them have been accomplished to reach the targeted goals. The level of implementation reached 81%.
Implementation progress in 2019
Under the concerted efforts of various public departments and the private sector, implementation of the eight key objectives has reached progress in 2019 as follows:
1. Diversify tourism products and experiences: “Art Macao” was staged as the first mega international cultural and artistic event in Macao; foster development of maritime sightseeing tours; progressively push forward with the remodeling project of the Macao Grand Prix Museum; the “International Gastronomy Forum, Macao” was held and featured the first cooking show open to the public; the Analytical Study on Optimization of Nighttime Tourism Activities and Products was completed; the “Specific Financial Support Programme for the Cultural Tourism Brand Building - MAK MAK” was launched.
2. Improve service quality and skills: to bolster the professional skills and career development of tourism industry professionals, the departments concerned continue to organize various training and skill accreditation programmes related to tourism development, besides presenting a crossover of the “Quality Tourism Services Accreditation Scheme” (QTSAS) and the “Certified Shop Scheme”, and extending QTSAS to cover the retail industry as well.
3. Rebrand Macao as a multi-day destination and expand high-value markets: continue to organise and participate in different activities in various visitor source markets; invite key opinion leaders (KOL) and media to visit Macao and other cities in the Greater Bay Area; partner with travel agencies and airlines to launch tourism products under different themes; tailor promotional activities targeting different market segments (including young adult, family and affluent female visitors, etc.) through MGTO representatives in different markets; the brand-new website for destination promotion was launched to enhance travelers’ experience.
4. Optimise urban development model: continue to participate in various urban planning projects; bring up the demand for tourism-related land usage and tap into spaces with potential for tourism development; various departments in charge are forging ahead with an array of infrastructure development projects to strengthen inter-district and regional connectivity, including expansion of the Macau International Airport, relocation of the port of entry at Lotus Bridge to Hengqin, inauguration of the Taipa route of Light Rapid Transit (LRT) and construction of Qingmao Frontier Post (new border access between Guangdong and Macao), among others. The Office also continues to support industry operators to put environmental measures into practice while carrying out various tasks to enhance the environment for pedestrians.
5. Manage Macao’s tourism carrying capacity: the entities concerned continue to enhance site management at congested tourist spots and formulate corresponding strategies; forecast the density of visitor flows at major attractions in Macao through technology to enhance capacities of coping with situations in different areas including management of public security and crowd monitoring; carry out polices to optimize traffic conditions for more effective diversion of visitor flows from different attractions.
6. Utilise innovative technology: in parallel with the SAR Government’s strategy to develop Macao into a smart city, the Office embarked on the first stage of cooperation to foster smart tourism development with Alibaba Cloud, a subsidiary of Alibaba Group, launching three projects into service including the “tourism information interchange platform”, “application for visitor insights” and “smart application for visitor flows” in March 2019. In addition, Macao Post and Telecommunications Bureau organised the “Macao Smart Hotel Award 2019” to encourage local enterprises to harness innovative technology in upgrading service quality in the hotel industry.
7. Enhance tourism industry cooperation: work on refining tourism-related laws in accord with the demand of the tourism industry in moving forward; proffer strong support to the legislative process for the Law on the Operation of Hotel Establishments; actively follow up with revision of the Law on the Operation of Travel Agencies and Tour Guide Profession. Strengthen public-private partnerships and communication with industry operators to push forward practice of social responsibility among local enterprises.
8. Enhance Macao’s position as a core tourism city in the regional and international tourism community: With the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Hengqin International Leisure Tourism Island Construction Scheme launched into implementation, the Office participates in the Tourism Federation of Cities in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Bay Area and promotes multi-destination tourism development, while exploring new possibilities for development of multi-island tours with industry operators and tailoring new tourism products which cater to different markets. The Office also participates in activities organised by UNESCO Creative Cities around the world and a range of meetings organised by international tourism organizations, to enhance the level of Macao’s participation in international tourism affairs.
Review of the Master Plan next year
MGTO plans to commence a review of the Master Plan next year (2020), systemically examining various objectives, strategies and planning proposals. Suitable amendments/updates may be made to action plans in response to the ever-changing tourism environment and industry development.
The “Macao Tourism Industry Development Master Plan – Comprehensive Report” and the “Macao Tourism Industry Development Master Plan – Summary Report” are available for download on 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 opportunities 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 for 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.