To stimulate the development of the tourism industry and support the travel trade in tackling the current adversity, Macau Government Tourist Office has launched the "Plan to Support Macau Tourism Industry" on May 18, followed by a revision in effect on August 1, committing more resources to boost the effect of the plan. Since the implementation of the plan, tourism industry stakeholders have shown positive responses to the plan, which is also yielding encouraging results.
From the launch of the plan on May 18 till September 2, 10,348 Celebrate Macau Tours, which aim to drive inbound group traffic from target markets, were organized (9,366 groups staying one night and 982 groups staying two nights or more), involving 248,238 visitors and a budget of over MOP$16 million.
14,093 individual visitors enjoyed the World Heritage "Historic Centre of Macau" Free Guiding Service at the Ruins of St Paul's and Senado Square launched jointly by MGTO and the Macau Tourist Guide Association.
MGTO's Macau Business Tourism Center has introduced the "Strategic MICE Market Stimulation Program" to assist business tourism partners. The stimulation program, which includes three categories: Meetings and Conventions, Exhibitions and Incentives, has supported a total of 40 MICE events, including 21 meetings and conventions, 9 exhibitions and 10 incentive travel events, involving a budget of over MOP10 million.
Director of MGTO João Manuel Costa Antunes expressed that with the global financial crisis and pandemic threat of H1N1 hitting the world, the tourism industry of Macau inevitably faced certain impact. "Since the plan came into effect, we are seeing positive results," he pointed out. With the gradual narrowing in the rate of decline in visitor arrivals, the slight increase in average length of stay in June, the rise in the percentage of overnight stay visitors in June and July, as well as the increased visitor traffic observed in August, coupled with improvement on other economic indicators, we believe that we are seeing signs of a rebound situation, Mr. Antunes said.
MGTO will closely monitor the situation of the tourism industry and make adjustments to the "Plan to Support Macau Tourism Industry" when necessary.
MGTO will continue to work hand in hand with all the stakeholders to expand the source markets, to enhance the competitive edge of the tourism products and service quality, to turn adversity into advantage and risks into opportunities. With the gradual improvement of the economic environment and better control of the H1N1 threat, the tourism industry of Macau is on its way to emerge from the gloom.