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Subsidies of up to MOP 400 on offer for overnight visitors in massive tourism drive

Tourism officials aiming for 40 million annual visitors again, as tour groups from mainland China head back into Macao for first time in three years.

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Tourism officials aiming for 40 million annual visitors again, as tour groups from mainland China head back into Macao for first time in three years.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 12:31 am

As mainland Chinese tour groups head back into Macao today for the first time in three years, tourism officials are planning to redouble efforts to encourage more tourists, including offering subsidies of up to MOP 400 for selected overnight visitors.

The central government announced on Friday morning the “full” resumption of travel between mainland China and Hong Kong and Macao, which starts today, including the resumption of mainlanders’ tour groups to Hong Kong and Macao. Shortly after, the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) announced Macao’s preparations for tour groups from mainland China, and various measures aiming to boost the city’s tourism sector.

Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong said that the central government’s resumption of tour groups to Macao would “surely” boost the recovery of its tourism and economy “a great deal”. He pledged that the local government will consolidate the tourism source market from mainland China, while strengthening its campaigns to attract Hong Kong visitors to Macao again and creating favourable conditions for expanding the international market, the policy secretary said.

Lei also pledged that the government will continue to improve the city’s tourism products and services, with the aim of increasing visitors’ length of stay and attracting repeat visitors.

Lei also noted that the resumption of tour groups covers the whole of mainland China, instead of only Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai, as announced previously. 

Finally, Lei said that the government has been preparing for the full recovery of Macao’s tourism sector, with expectation that the city will welcome around 40 million visitor arrivals per year again, the level recorded in the pre-pandemic year of 2019. Macao recorded 39.4 million visitor arrivals in 2019, the year before the Covid-19 pandemic began to affect Macao in early 2020.

Macao’s tourism has been gradually recovering since 8 January when Macao scrapped all Covid-19 testing requirements for those entering from mainland China, Hong Kong or Taiwan.

Lei noted that the number of Macao’s visitor arrivals is currently still lower than the average daily number of around 100,000 in 2019. “Everyone in Macao is aware that various businesses in Macao were hard hit by the huge drop in the number of visitor arrivals during the three years affected by Covid-19,” Lei said.

Macao recorded the highest daily visitor arrivals of 90,391 on 24 January since the pandemic began to affect Macao in early 2020.

MGTO Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes noted that the government announced in December that it will roll out a subsidy programme in 2023 for local travel agencies that organise overnight tour groups from mainland China. 

She said that under the programme a local travel agency will be given a subsidy of MOP 150 for each visitor from Guangdong who stays for one hotel night, and MOP 300 for each traveller who stays for two or more nights, while the subsidy will be MOP 250 for each visitor from outside Guangdong who stays for one hotel night, and MOP 400 for each tourist who stays for two or more nights.

Senna Fernandes also said that 88 local travel agencies are eligible to participate in the subsidy programme.

In addition, the tourism chief also said that the local government is planning to roll out a subsidy for overnight tour groups from foreign countries, adding that the subsidy for each visitor would be higher than for tour groups from mainland China. 

Senna Fernandes also said that the government would continue with its promotional discount offers for air tickets and hotel stays for visitors.

She also said that the local government would continue with its promotional campaigns for Macao’s tourism in mainland China and Hong Kong. Moreover, she underlined, the local government is preparing to roll out promotional campaigns and offers in Taiwan and foreign countries, The Macau Post Daily reported. 

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 12:31 am

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