The Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council announced the “Notification about complete resumption of mutual visits of people between the Mainland and Hong Kong & Macao” today (3 February). The Notification will be enforced from 00:00 on 6 February 2023, including reinstatement of operations of group tours joined by Mainland residents to Hong Kong and Macao. Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) held a press conference this morning (3 February) to introduce its schemes for destination promotion and special offers. The Office gets prepared with the trade for welcoming tour groups from the Mainland once again. Furthermore, the Office is mapping out promotional initiatives tailored for international visitor markets to bolster Macao’s tourism industry and economy towards robust development.
Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lei Wai Nong, MGTO Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes and Deputy Director Cheng Wai Tong, attended the press conference together with others.
Preferential measures generate great momentum for recovery
In his remarks, Secretary Lei Wai Nong expressed his deep gratitude to the Central Government and the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council for their support and assistance in resumption of group travel from the Mainland to Macao, which will be a great enhancer for Macao’s tourism revival and return of economic vitality. The measure will generate a powerful stimulus for economic recovery. In accord with successive implementation of preferential measures for Macao and return of normality in border crossing, visitor arrivals are steadily trending upward in Macao. The local economy and tourism are on the rise again and progressing towards a bright outlook. In the new year, the SAR Government is fully committed to carrying out the "1+4" adequate diversification development strategy, making greater endeavors to deepen integration across the sectors of “tourism +”. A series of tasks are unfolding to tap into a wider range of visitor source markets, to brand Macao online and offline as a safe and quality destination. The Office will strive continuously to secure a greater contribution of visits from Mainland source markets, while greater new efforts will also be made to attract Hong Kong visitors again, in addition to creating favorable conditions to tap into international markets.
Registration system opens up for Mainland tour groups under the Subsidy Scheme
MGTO has been vigorously preparing beforehand for resumption of group travel from the Mainland. Last year, the Office launched the “My Treat for You, Joyful Macao Tour” Subsidy Scheme specially for the Mainland tourist market. After assessment, a total of 88 travel agencies are eligible for participation by far. From today (3 February), the system is opened for eligible travel agencies to register and fill out information for their tour groups.
The first tour group’s arrival to Macao on 6 February marks full return of group travel
Starting from 1 November last year, the exit-and-entry administration counters of public security entities throughout the country has put into operation the smart-travel permit application systems for processing of Mainland residents’ applications for travel permits to Macao. MGTO has since put greater efforts in promoting the destination and special offers. The latest preferential measure announced today, which enforces full reinstatement of mutual visits of people between the Mainland and Hong Kong & Macao, is expected to become a great boon for tourism revival in Macao. On 6 February 2023, Macao will welcome the first tour group from the Mainland since the earliest outbreak of the pandemic, which symbolizes the return of Mainland group visitors to Macao.
Reactivate the roadshow series in the Greater Bay Area this month
MGTO has unveiled an all-rounded online-offline promotional campaign in various visitor source markets to widen the range of visitors. In terms of the Mainland tourist markets, special offers on air tickets and hotels have been launched since September 2020 to attract Mainland visitors to Macao. Around mid to late February, the Office will reactivate the “Experience Macao, Unlimited” Caravan Roadshow Series across the Greater Bay Area in the rest of the cities including Guangzhou, Jiangmen and Shenzhen. Macao Weeks are also planned to unfold this year.
Besides the Mainland visitor markets, MGTO has resumed destination promotional initiatives for the Hong Kong market. In the recent months, the Office has successively arranged for familiarization groups to visit Macao for exchange and networking. At the same time, the Office is planning the promotional scheme and special offers for Taiwan region and overseas markets in addition to the launch of online promotional endeavors.
Gearing up for offline promotional activities in international markets
MGTO is gearing up for physical promotional activities in international markets. In the first place, the Office will organize roadshows, presentation seminars and familiarization trips for the travel trade for Southeast-Asian markets, in active preparation for the return of international tourist markets.
This year, MGTO carries on the “Experience Macao, Unlimited” campaign to spotlight monthly city highlights with a different theme for each month, offering a comprehensive summary of wonderful events and activities presented by various governmental entities, enterprises and community organizations.
The Macao SAR Government has adopted the "1+4" adequate diversification development strategy to push forward the development of the integrated tourism and leisure industries. MGTO will step up regional cooperation in tourism and the diverse fields of “tourism +”, dedicated to destination marketing and tapping into a wider range of visitor source markets. It is hoped that the travel trade can get well prepared for welcoming visitors and keep optimizing their tourism products and services, joining hands to revive the tourism industry and steer Macao’s economy towards adequate diversification.