With the reinstatement of operations of group tours joined by Mainland residents to Hong Kong and Macao, six tour groups from the Mainland, comprising 135 visitors in total, are arriving in Macao today (6 February). There are two tour groups from Guangdong Province, three from the city of Shanghai and one from Liaoning Province, arriving through Hengqin Port, Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and Macau International Airport respectively.
Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) held welcome ceremonies today (6 February) to welcome the first two tour groups arriving by land and air, including 27 visitors from Guangdong and 17 visitors from Shanghai respectively.
These are the first two tour groups traveling to Macao ever since the earliest outbreak of the pandemic. The return of Mainland tour group visitors symbolizes that the Mainland tourist market has fully opened up to Macao.
Welcoming first tour groups at the ports
Because of pandemic control and prevention, Mainland group travel to Macao had been suspended since late January 2020. With the support of the Central Government, mutual visits of people between the Mainland and Hong Kong & Macao are now completely resumed, including reinstatement of operations of group tours joined by Mainland residents to Hong Kong and Macao. Macao thus welcomed the first batch of tour groups from the Mainland by land and air. Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) held a welcome ceremony at both the Macao Port Zone of Hengqin Port and the Tourist Information counter at Macau International Airport.
Mutual visits of tourists between Hengqin and Macao
The first tour group from Macao visits Hengqin
At the Macao Port Zone of Hengqin Port, MGTO Deputy Director Cheng Wai Tong, representatives of Macao’s travel trade and Macao Tourism Mascot MAK MAK welcomed and presented Macao travel souvenirs to members of the first tour group from Guangdong. At the same time, the first tour group from Macao, comprising 37 members, was ready to set off to Hengqin. MGTO Deputy Director Ricky Hoi, joined by others, then headed to the Tourist Information counter at Macau International Airport to welcome and present souvenirs to the first tour group arriving by flight from Shanghai.
MGTO is dedicated to promoting concerted tourism development and cooperation across “tourism +” between Hengqin and Macao. The resumption of Mainland group travel to Macao will facilitate mutual visits of people between Hengqin and Macao as well as their development of joint tourism products.
MGTO hopes that with the preferential measures enforced for Macao, Mainland tour groups can create a wealth of business opportunities for tourism and other related sectors in Macao, in turn invigorating Macao’s tourism and economy. The Office encourages industry operators to seize the possibilities and provide excellent-quality tourism products and services for visitors, building a good reputation of the destination in solidarity and reinforcing Macao’s image as a safe and quality destination. 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. The six tour groups arriving in Macao today have all applied for the subsidy.
First tour groups enjoy dining, entertainment and shopping
MGTO has encouraged the travel trade to develop innovative travel itineraries which include the new routes from the “Stay, Dine and See Macao” Project, as enjoyed by the first batch of tour groups. The first tour group from Guangdong will experience a two-day trip to different attractions including the widely-popular Nossa Senhora Village of Ká Hó in Coloane, one of Macao’s eight new scenic spots – Coloane Village, the Ecological Trail at the Taipa Houses and integrated tourism facilities with an aroma of nostalgia in Cotai District. On the other hand, the first tour group from Shanghai will enjoy a five-day trip to Macao’s World Heritage, Handover Gifts Museum of Macao, Chapel of St. Francis Xavier in Coloane, Taipa Houses, Rua do Cunha, as well as integrated tourism and leisure facilities, among other attractions. The group members will also taste Macao’s signature delicacies and enjoy shopping fun, besides experiencing leisure travel and the unique cultural symphony of the East and West offered by Macao.
Capitalize on the preferential measures for Macao
Unfold an all-rounded promotional campaign
Starting from 1 November 2022, 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. Riding on this preferential measure, MGTO has been putting great efforts in promoting the destination across the Mainland.
The announcement about complete resumption of mutual visits of people between the Mainland and Hong Kong & Macao has come as a great news. MGTO has immediately rolled out an official promotional campaign “Let’s travel to Macao now” in partnership with Douyin. The campaign initiates a citywide mission on Douyin for Mainland residents to film official promotional videos. Mainland residents are encouraged to promote electric issuance of travel permits of Macao and visit Macao to film travel videos.
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 market, 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.
Step up patrols
MGTO will step up patrols in different ports of entry, tourist attractions and shopping places in Macao, conducting random inspections upon operations of tour groups and tour guides at work. Upon discovery of any irregularities, the Office will initiate sanction procedures. MGTO has established a communication scheme with relevant tourism entities in the Mainland and will promptly report any violation of regulations involving Mainland travel agencies.