The Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) strengthened this year its participation at the Lisbon Travel Market, the biggest of its kind in Portugal, aiming to reinforce its presence among the tourism industry in the country and promote the potential of the city as a leisure and business tourism destination.
Macau at Lisbon Travel Market this year with a bigger booth
MGTO and APAVT chiefs sign agreement for congress in Macau
Costa Antunes meets with his Portuguese counterpart Luís Patrão
Opened on January 16, the Lisbon Travel Market (BTL, in the Portuguese abbreviation) runs until January 20. As a privileged window to showcase tourism activity in Portugal, BTL has seen once again a strong commitment from MGTO. This year with a stronger emphasis, as the eyes of the Portuguese tourism industry will be on this region of Asia in 2008, with Macau hosting the 34th National Congress of The Portuguese Association of Travel Agencies (APAVT).
The importance given by Macau to BTL 2008 is evident by the presence of a delegation from MGTO headed by its Director João Manuel Costa Antunes and head of Promotion and Marketing Department Cecília Tse. The area of the Macau booth was also expanded to 54 square meters.
During his visit to Lisbon, João Manuel Costa Antunes met with his Portuguese counterpart, the president of Turismo de Portugal, Luís Manuel Patrão, on Wednesday, to exchange ideas on tourism and strengthen bilateral relations.
Presentations will be held on the Macau booth to the media and the travel trade, under the main theme of the new realities of Macau, highlighting the dual focus of cultural and historical heritage and business tourism.
Another significant moment of Macau's participation at BTL 2008 was a luncheon-reception held on the 16th for representatives from the media, travel trade and official entities. On the occasion a memorandum of understanding was signed between MGTO and APAVT concerning the organization in Macau of the 34th National Congress of APAVT, due to take place this year from November 30 to December 4.
MGTO also hosted a cocktail for the media on the 16th and another on the 17th for travel trade guests. The catering of the cocktails, serving Macanese delicacies, was provided by Pousadas de Portugal. The Pousadas de Portugal, a kind of luxury hotel accommodation in exclusive locations around the country, and MGTO have signed recently an agreement aiming to promote, throughout 2008, Macanese food in several pousadas de Portugal.
The booth promoting Macau hosts several traditional activities practitioners - fortune tellers, profile cutters and calligraphers -, just as in previous years. Their specialty has always been linked with the name of Macau and the success of the booth.
Despite the geographical distance, Macau, listed as World Heritage by UNESCO, saw an increase of 13 per cent in the number of Portuguese visitors in 2007. This growth results not only from the historical, cultural and economic relations between Macau and Portugal, but also due to the strong dynamism seen in recent years in the city's tourism industry, reinforcing the importance of Macau's promotion at BTL. MGTO has been participating at BTL since its first edition, twenty years ago.