Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) held its Annual Press Conference today (10 February) and expressed that 2020 was a year not without challenges. The Office not only engaged in the work of pandemic prevention but also stepped up its effort to promote the destination after the pandemic situation stabilized in Macao, in line with the Country’s reinstatement of travel permit issuance for Mainland visitors to Macao. For overnight-stay visitors and all visitors to Macao, their average length of stay both saw an increase last year. Looking ahead in 2021, MGTO will strive to deepen “tourism +” cross-sector integration and stimulate market vitality by encouraging visitations, to steer the tourism industry towards recovery and generating greater momentum to move other industries forward.
MGTO Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, together with Deputy Directors Cheng Wai Tong and Ricky Hoi, attended the press conference and presented a retrospective overview of Macao’s tourism performance last year followed by an introduction of the Office’s work plan in 2021, for local journalists present at the conference.
MGTO’s five major work goals in 2021
This year, MGTO will devote relentless efforts to deepen “tourism +” cross-sector integration, optimize tourism events and products, stimulate market vitality by encouraging visitations, pushing forward various tasks in accord with the five major goals.
MGTO’s five major work goals in 2021 are as follows:
1. Deepen “tourism +” cross-sector integration
Reshape the connection between tourism, gaming, MICE and other emerging industries, push forward quality tourism development, support industry operators to develop new tourism products, promote extensive growth of the tourism industry chain, as well as deepen cross-sector integration of “tourism +”, including “tourism + MICE”, “tourism + culture and creativity”, “tourism + e-commerce”, “tourism + sports”, etc., which will further enhance the competitiveness of Macao’s tourism industry through multiplying effects.
2. Tourism planning and policy
Continue with the work to review the “Macao Tourism Industry Development Master Plan” and collect various stakeholders’ opinions from related departments, industry operators, community organizations and the public through in-depth interviews, focus groups and questionnaires, etc. The Office will review the city’s tourism positioning, evaluate the latest strengths and constraints of Macao’s tourism industry as well as development opportunities and challenges, in addition to proposing medium- and long-term key actions plans. Furthermore, five key issues will be deepened as follows: economic contribution of tourism, regional cooperation in tourism, tourism carrying capacity, diversification of visitor source markets and smart tourism development led by technology. In order to collect local residents’ opinions on Macao’s future tourism development, residents are welcome to fill out the questionnaire on the “Macao Tourism Industry Development Master Plan” website from 10 February to 11 March 2021 (https://masterplan.macaotourism.gov.mo/home-en/index.html). Moreover, the Office will prepare the “Creative City of Gastronomy” monitoring report. The above tasks are carried out with the aim to foster sustainable tourism development and adequate diversification of the economy.
3. Stimulate overall market vitality by encouraging visitations
In order to speed up tourism recovery after the pandemic, MGTO will further promote Macao as a safe and quality destination, disseminate information to target market segments through precision marketing, promote unique tourism products, quality services and special promotions, to diversify sources of visitors. Aiming at the Mainland visitor market, the Office will strengthen cooperation with e-commerce platforms, explore target market segments and attract potential visitors to Macao, so as to achieve the benefits of attracting more visitations. For visitors who have arrived in Macao, the Office will spotlight various special offers from local merchants to encourage them to stay for extra days in Macao, thus stimulating an increase in visitor expenditure and spurring economic recovery. In terms of international market, MGTO will organize and participate in online seminars and presentations while leveraging online platforms continuously to distribute Macao’s tourism information. When the international tourism markets resume, the Office will devote greater efforts in precision marketing, promoting tourism products to target market segments so as to attract international visitors to Macao for travel and consumption, in turn revitalizing the local economy.
4. Optimize iconic events and products
Trial operation of Macao Grand Prix Museum in the first quarter
MGTO will endeavor to optimize iconic events and products and bring signature major events into local communities. The Office will strive to put the remodeled Macao Grand Prix Museum into trial operation in the first quarter of 2021. Multimedia interactive equipment and racing scene display settings will be newly installed along with eight wax figures of prestigious racers on display to enhance visitors’ “educational fun” experience in the Museum designed for informative entertainment, leisure and learning. The Museum will regularly organize public guided tours, special exhibitions, workshops, and other activities to strengthen interaction with schools and associations, “tourism + sports” synergy, as well as communication and preservation of the Grand Prix racing culture. In addition, MGTO will optimize the “Step Out, Experience Macao's Communities - Walking Tour Routes” by availing the glamour of local attractions, effectively connecting different types of community businesses and highlighting various distinctive shops and catering establishments to offer fascinating travel experiences of taste, fun and shopping, and introduce new groups of consumers into local communities, thus promoting recovery of the tourism market and the community economy.
5. Government Service Optimization
MGTO will actively support the deliberations on the Law on the Operation of Hotel Establishments and the Law on the Operation of Travel Agencies and Tour Guide Profession. In addition, the Office will complete the issuance of digital licenses for hotels, restaurants, night clubs and bars by 2021. In line with the Macao SAR Government’s policy to strengthen the governance of funding projects by unification of criteria for funding applications, MGTO will review and update the requirements for activity funding applications to fit the scope of funding more aptly. Furthermore, in support of the SAR Government’s strategy to widen the availability of open data, MGTO will continue to open more tourism-related data via the Macao SAR Government Open Data Platform to unblock information isolated island, while leveraging the tourism information interchange platform to compile tourism industry information and widen the potential of smart tourism development.