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2021 -02 -10 [Back]
Annual Press Conference of Macao Government Tourism Office
Retrospection — MGTO launched various measures and promotions
to spur tourism revival in Macao

At the Annual Press Conference today (10 February), Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) presented a retrospective summary of MGTO’s work accomplished in 2020, which include the array of measures carried out to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and revive Macao’s tourism industry. Following the progressive reinstatement of travel permit issuance for Mainland residents to Macao, as well as bolstered by different marketing strategies and special promotions, Macao saw a rebound in visitor arrivals at the fourth quarter of 2020, while the average length of stay of overnight-stay visitors and all visitors both increased in 2020.

 

MGTO’s work in 2020

MGTO launched a range of measures to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and pushed forward different major tasks with continuous effort as follows: reviewing the Macao Tourism Industry Development Master Plan, fostering smart tourism and quality tourism development, furthering Macao’s endeavors as a Creative City of Gastronomy, engaging in regional and international cooperation, etc.

 

Participation in pandemic control and prevention

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 and during the pandemic, MGTO has been joining hands with Health Bureau to provide pandemic prevention information for hotel operators and travel trade; producing related articles and graphic abstracts; participating in the arrangements and operations of chartered flight and shuttle service to bring home Macao residents stranded in other cities; working out the arrangements with hotels as temporary venues of medical observation while coordinating and assisting with their operations; regularly inspecting MGTO-licensed establishments to ensure their compliance with pandemic prevention guidelines issued by Health Bureau.

 

Spurring tourism recovery

Last year, an array of tourism-related taxes and fees were waived to bolster the travel trade. After the pandemic situation stabilized in Macao and the Mainland, MGTO launched a series of measures and promotional activities to spur tourism recovery in Macao. The related measures include:

 

The Office partnered with local production companies to create promotional videos which highlight Macao’s image as a safe and quality destination;

 

The “Macao Ready Go” e-platform was launched. As of 31 December 2020, over 240,000 discount coupons were downloaded, while the platform engaged 671 registered merchants and provided 2,053 special promotions in total;

 

The Office coordinated the “Macao Ready Go! Local Tours” project, which engaged close to 140,000 participants and provided job opportunities for 445 tour guides and 508 coach drivers. The project yielded economic benefits of approximately 57.40 million patacas in total (including tour fee and extra expenditure);

 

Under the umbrella of the Government’s scheme to “expand visitor source, revive the economy and secure employment opportunities”, MGTO partnered with several major e-commerce companies to promote special offers and attract visitors to Macao including the collaborative project with Tencent, which, as of 31 December 2020, distributed 1.37 million cash vouchers and had 100,483 room nights redeemed from hotel coupons. The cash vouchers drove a transaction amount of RMB 315 million in a leverage ratio of 23.

 

The “Tour Macao Carnival” was held to weave together local events to spotlight Macao as a safe travel destination.

 

As the pandemic situation came under control in the Mainland and Macao, in line with the resumption of travel permit issuance for Mainland residents to Macao, the series of promotional activities themed as “Beijing Macao Week” was held last September as Macao’s first mega promotional event held in the Mainland after the pandemic was contained on both sides. The event engaged around 800,000 spectators, with 75 million views of KOLs’ live streams.

 

To align with the promotional effort, the Macao Light Festival was rescheduled to September, and attracted 243,258 spectators.

 

The 8th Macao International Travel (Industry) Expo was held in a hybrid online and offline format for the first time, with the new addition of cloud series including “Cloud Live Broadcast” and so forth. 12 sessions of “Cloud Live Broadcast” attracted 262,000 concurrent viewers (peak count), with playback counts hitting 120 million.

 

Review of Master Plan

In accord with the changes brought by the pandemic to the tourism environment and travel patterns as well as the Office’s transfer to the Secretariat for Economy and Finance, MGTO prepared in 2020 for a review study of the Macao Tourism Industry Development Master Plan (“Master Plan”), with related work begun at the end of last year. As of 2020, 62 out of 69 short-term (0 – 5 years) action plans reached the targeted goals; the level of implementation neared 90%. In addition, as part of its strenuous efforts to foster smart tourism development, MGTO kept working to widen the availability of Open Data besides the launch of a “Smart Trip Planner” website and a brand-new one-stop mobile app.

 

To strengthen Macao’s development as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, MGTO launched the Macanese Cuisine Database webpage on the Gastronomy Website, continuously participated in online activities organized worldwide by the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and supported other cities in their process of application to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

 

Marching forward with quality tourism development, MGTO offered the travel trade different training opportunities with an enhanced diversity of online learning elements and courses covering topics such as barrier-free communication, catering expertise, culture and history. On the other hand, throughout 2020, the Office conducted 1,947 inspections upon operations of industry professionals and tourism establishments, 787 inspections at ports of entry and tourist attractions, as well as 800 random inspections upon tour groups of “Macao Ready Go! Local Tours”. The inspections also targeted pertinent entities’ compliance with pandemic prevention guidelines. In terms of the combat against illegal accommodation, the Office carried out 812 apartment inspections throughout the year and sealed 82 apartments, besides 178 joint inspections with the inter-departmental task force.

 

Visitor arrivals surged 150% from 3rd to 4th quarter

Following the progressive resumption of travel permit issuance for Mainland residents to Macao in the third quarter of 2020, visitor arrivals keep trending upward monthly. Boosted by strong and targeted promotional efforts, visitor arrivals surged by 150% from the third quarter to the fourth quarter of 2020. Top daily records of visitor arrivals were registered in November and December. On the New Year’s Eve, 31 December, Macao recorded 30,668 visitor arrivals, the highest daily record ever since the start of the pandemic last year.

 

Increase in average length of stay of overnight-stay and all visitors

The average length of stay of all visitors and overnight-stay visitors to Macao both saw an increase in 2020. The average length of stay of all visitors was 1.4 days, a year-on-year rise of 0.2 day while that of overnight-stay visitors was 2.8 days, a year-on-year increase of 0.6 day. The length of stay of same-day visitors, on the other hand, stood at 0.2 day. Overnight-stay visitor arrivals dropped by 84.9% to over 2.8 million, accounting for 47.9% of total visitor arrivals, whereas same-day visitor arrivals dropped by 85.2% to over 3.07 million.

 

Visitor arrivals neared 5.9 million in 2020

Total visitor arrivals dropped by 85% year-on-year to nearly 5.9 million in 2020, among which 96.7% came from the Greater China markets. Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan region remained Macao’s top three visitor source markets.

 

Korea continued to rank first among international markets, contributing over 44,000 visitors to Macao last year. There were 32,000 visitor arrivals from the Philippines. Visitors from foreign countries were banned from visiting Macao starting from the latter half of March in 2020, in accord with the pandemic control measures adopted by the Macao SAR Government.

 

Quarterly increase in hotel occupancy rate in 4th quarter

Local hotel establishments welcomed a total of 3.87 million overnight guests last year, with a decline of 72.5%. The average occupancy rate of local hotel establishments dropped by 62.2 percentage points to around 28.6%. Provisional figures show that the average occupancy rate of hotel establishments increased by 31.9 percentage points from the third quarter to fourth quarter of 2020. The average room rate of three to five star hotels was 115.1 US dollars, down by 32.4%.

 

Up to the end of 2020, there are 132 local hotel establishments with a supply of 41,884 rooms. The above figure includes 42 budget accommodation establishments supplying 1,131 rooms in total. In 2020, there are six newly-licensed hotel establishments.

 

Total visitor expenditure (including gaming expenditure) between January and September 2020 amounted to 5.15 billion US dollars, marking a period-on-period decrease of 83.2%.

Updated on: 10/02/2021