The Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) Wednesday released its findings about the feasibility of “family hostels”, showing that 62.5 percent of 2,243 respondents agreed with the idea of “family hostels” in general.
However, the survey also found that not many of those who agreed with the “family hostel” idea are in favour of having the hostels in their neighbourhoods – an all-too-typical case of NIMBY (not in my back yard).
MGTO Vice-Director Cheng Wai Tong and senior official Ma U Leng jointly hosted a press conference at the Tourism Activities Centre (CAT) to announce the findings.
The survey was carried out by the private Macau Research Centre on behalf of the office in June and July with 2,243 residents completing questionnaires. Among the 2,243 respondents 2,028 were interviewed in the street while the remainder completed online questionnaires.
Of those who agreed with the “family hostel” idea about 50 percent believe that “family hostels” would offer tourists cheaper accommodation. About 30 percent believe the hostels could provide tourists with an alternative type of accommodation. Other reasons given to support the idea included that “family hostels” could let visitors know more about Macau residents’ way of life and the local culture.
Of the 33 percent who disagreed with the “family hostel” idea nearly 70 percent worried about possible security problems. Other reasons given by the respondents included possible traffic problems and high property prices.
The findings show that the respondents who support the “family hostel” idea come mostly from seven areas: Coloane, Nossa Senhora de Fatima, Santo Antonio, São Lazaro , São Lourenço, Se, and Taipa.
About 63.5 percent of the respondents living in Se selected their community as the first choice for “family hostels” while about 47.4 respondents living in Coloane selected the island as the first choice for the hostels’ location. Most respondents from other areas did not wish to see “family hostels” opening in their neighbourhoods.
The survey found that according to information about “family hostels” elsewhere such as Hong Kong, the mainland, Taiwan and Japan, there is no a unified definition of a “family hostel”. However, according to yesterday’s press conference, a ”family hostel” is not defined as a budget hotel and it should be complementary to hotels during tourism peak periods or where there is insufficient accommodation in remote places. Besides, “family hostels” should be located in individual buildings.
The survey concluded that the findings show that there is no “real consensus” about the hostels among local residents, aside from the fact that currently there is no law in place allowing the operation of “family hostels”.
Cheng said that the government would study the findings of the survey. No timetable for the launch of “family hostels” in Macau was given at the press conference.(macaunews/macaupost)