Macau Encourages Tourism Industry Diversification

The opening ceremony of the Macau Government Tourist Office Annual Marketing Meeting was held recently at the Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel.

At the ceremony, Joao Manuel Costa Antunes, director of Macau Government Tourist Office commented on the status of the Macau tourism industry – and its future marketing strategies – to the delegates of travel offices from over ten countries and regions, the tourism industry and media, as well as guests from around the world.

According to statistics from MGTO, from January to May of 2008, Macau had welcomed a total of almost 12.6 million tourists – an increase of 17.4% compared with the same period of 2007. The number of international arrivals to Macau continued to grow, representing an increase rate of approximate 49% for the first five months of this year. In 2007, the number of international tourists accounted for 9.3% of the total number of tourists visiting to Macau; and that for the first five months of this year reached 10.5%.

The Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan keep their positions as Macau°Øs top three source markets. Of these, the number of tourists from the Chinese mainland increased by 25.5%. The overseas markets of both Southeast and Northeast Asia were robust, including Thailand with a growth rate of 81.8%, 68.9% for Singapore, 58.9% for South Korea, 53.3% for the Philippines, and 30% for Japan, showing a healthy progress towards diversification of source markets for Macau.

Antunes emphasized that MGTO aims to push the development of Macau tourism industry to move towards diversification of both source markets and tour products, by taking advantage of cooperation with airlines on new routes, launching themed tour products with the models of regional cooperation and multi-destination travel.

Antunes added that Macau SAR Government greatly supported the development of business travel and the MICE industry. And the Macau Business Tourism Center will continue to play the role of a platform to facilitate the development of MICE and business tourism sectors through assisting in holding various convention and exhibition activities as well as training efforts.

The historic center of Macau is one of Macau's valuable tourism resources, and MGTO will utilize different promotional tools to showcase Macau's world heritage to the world and further diversify the Macau tourism industry.