Gov’t to attempt carrying out most MICE and leisure events scheduled for H2 – Tourism Office Director

Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes stated in an interview with Macau News Agency and Macau Business that authorities will try to still hold some the city’s main MICE and entertainment events this year, including the Global Tourism Economy Forum, the International Travel (Industry) Expo and the International Film Festival & Awards.

“Speaking about MGTO, obviously we have the travel fair, which was supposed to be in April, but we moved that to September. We still have the Global Tourism Economy Forum, which will also need to be shifted a little later in the year. But we have hopes that we would still hold it this year,” Fernandes indicated.

Concerning the Macao International Trade and Investment Fair organised by the Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) and scheduled for October, Fernandes only noted that her colleagues are evaluating all factors to decide if it can still be held.

The MGTO Director noted that, although the annual Macao International Fireworks Display Contest had to be cancelled, the department decided to maintain the Macau Light Festival and the usual National Day firework display.

“We decided to go ahead with the Light Festival, which is now announced to start on September 26 and run until the end of October. We decided that there needs to be something for an earlier time, to try to boost everybody’s spirits. We believe it would help to bring people out of their homes in the evening, to go around and half a good time, during what we call the Autumn time,” she noted.

“For the National Day, obviously we will have a fireworks event, and we are looking forward to working together with Hengqin, in terms of a combination of drones as well as fireworks. Although we can’t run the fireworks contest, we still would have some fireworks, some special events for our residents and eventually our visitors”. 

Concerning this year’s International Film Festival & Awards scheduled for December 3 to 8, Fernandes noted that, as with many international film events, this 5th edition will include online elements.

“It will have to be probably a combination of physical film watching and also maybe, I wouldn’t say virtual, but an online segment in terms of the competition sections because we understand that not everybody in the world would be able to come,” she noted.

“We would have to make leeway in terms of what to do with the project market, and what we do with the competitions sections – how can the judges judge the films and how do we attribute the prizes? We have accumulated some experience earlier this year, when we participated in the WE ARE ONE festival that we were invited to by Tribeca, together with 20 other different festivals in the world, to run an online film screening.”

Fernandes also previously confiremd that the Grand Prix organizing committee had decided to proceed with this year’s race.

[Read the full interview in the August edition of Macau Business magazine]