The Macao government’s travel subsidy scheme for travellers on tour groups generated more than 1.1 billion yuan (US$154.2 million) worth of flight and hotel booking in the first 10 months of 2023, according to official data cited in gaming industry media.
The government-subsidised scheme offered travel agents up to 250 patacas per night, per tourist – so long as they met certain requirements.
The initiative led to more than 994,000 hotel stays and 106,000 flight bookings across the period, the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) says.
Between 2 February and 31 October, subsidy requests from more than 14,500 tour groups (equating to about 391,000 individuals) were received. Almost 95 percent of these tours originated in mainland China, MGTO said.
On its website, MGTO described the travel subsidy scheme as a way to financially support local travel agencies and strengthen Macao’s diversifying tourism industry.
The Macao government had earmarked 650 million patacas for “expanding sources of tourism” in this year’s budget, which included incentives such as discounts on flight tickets and accommodation.