The MSAR “needs always to continue to innovate and transform itself and have different products to offer our clients,” says Macau Government Tourism Office director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes. The director’s comments came on the sidelines of the official opening of the most recent hospitality and gaming offering in the city, the Macau Roosevelt.
The director pointed out that, regarding the hotel itself “they really put in the effort to create a different brand in Macau and also, in terms of the details, they worked very hard”.
In attracting more clientele to Macau to try out its offerings, the director notes the MGTO is “also continuing to work on some markets which traditionally have supplied tourists to Macau,” giving the examples of the United States and Europe. In particular, commenting on the new Capital Airlines link between Portugal and Beijing, the director noted that: “for the future we can also work more closely with the tourism authorities of Portugal.”
For more close-facing markets, the director notes that “we will soon have a new route to Jakarta and this will also help open up more possibilities to attracting tourists from this market”. Ten years prior, the MGTO had partnered with the now-closed Viva Macau airline on a similar, three-weekly, flight plan between the MSAR and the capital of Indonesia.
Master Plan: draft 1
Closer to home, the much awaited Tourism Master Plan is yet to be released to the public, with the director noting that “maybe not this month but definitely this year we will launch officially this document.” Having received already the first draft of the document, the director notes that: “at this point we are analysing if there are some points that we still want to finalise”.
Although announced to be finished this year, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge is being promoted already between the regional authorities, notes the director, and that MGTO on its missions abroad has “for some time been advertising this structure.”
“But not having a fixed date [for its completion] it’s difficult to say for sure,” when and how much to promote, notes the director, pointing out additionally that aside from drawing tourists in, the “the bridge itself should be a touristic point,” which could “attract people to Macau, just to see the bridge”.
The Greater Bay Area and facilitating easier tourist movement between the nine cities comprising the region is already in motion, notes the director, pointing out the ‘144-hour’ visa allowing those from the Mainland access to the SARs for the aforementioned period, however the director would not opine on the timetable for an open visa policy.
“This type of [144 hour] visa already exists, so because of this I think we really have to advertise that more and at the same time maybe – together with travel agencies – utilize better this measure that already exists. For the future, as new measures are introduced, we can continue to advertise them,” adds the director.