The opening ceremony of the Macau Government Tourist Office Annual Marketing Meeting was held today at the Venetian Macau-Resort-Hotel. Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Dr. Chui Sai On, attended the ceremony and director of Macau Government Tourist Office, João Manuel Costa Antunes presented the tourism development of Macau and outlined future marketing strategies to trade, media, guests and MGTO’s representatives around the world.
Speaking at the Marketing Meeting, Antunes pointed out that Macau’s tourism industry continues to move towards diversification. During the first five months of this year, visitor arrivals almost reached 12.6 million, registering an increase of 17.4% compared with the same period of 2007. Furthermore, international market arrivals continued its growth trend and surged close to 49% for the first five months. As of 2007, the market share of international markets in visitor arrivals was 9.3%, for the first five months of this year; Macau has achieved satisfactory results of 10.5% in the market share of international visitor arrivals.
Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan China continue to be the three largest visitor-generating markets, among which Mainland China recorded a 25.5% increase in arrivals. Southeast and Northeast Asia also showed exceptionally strong performance, with arrivals growing 81.8% for Thailand, 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.
Antunes expressed that diversification is the key direction. While continuing to employ the promotional theme “Experience Macau” under the slogan “A World of Difference, the Difference is Macau”, this year MGTO has introduced a series of promotions for visitors to experience Macau with the five senses “See, Taste, Touch, Feel and Hear.” MGTO’s representatives around the world will utilize their strong and extensive local networks to bring the promotional effect to its full potential.
He stressed that MGTO is moving towards the goal of source markets and tourism product diversification. MGTO is putting forward a number of tactics which include reinforcing cooperation with airlines on new routes, developing and promoting new tourism products, such as wedding/honeymoon packages and strengthening regional cooperation and multi-destination travel.
He noted that MGTO will closely cooperate with airlines exploring new routes to broaden source market reach and attract different tourist segments. On the tourism products front, MGTO will integrate various resources while developing new products to suit different market segments in different source markets. Examples of such products include the ‘Happily’ HK & Macau package launched in India, honeymoon tour and Macau/Zhuhai golf tour launched in Korea, heritage tour and incentive tour launched in Japan, gourmet tour launched in Singapore and business travel launched in the United States.
On the regional cooperation front, Antunes pointed out that MGTO will explore different options of intra- and inter-regional and international cooperation in order to encourage multi-destination travel.
Macau SAR Government has provided steadfast support towards the development of business travel and the MICE industry, he added. Macau Business Tourism Center (MBTC) continues to assume the role of a platform to facilitate the development of MICE and business tourism through supporting various convention and exhibition activities and training efforts. Gary Grimmer, the business tourism consultant of MBTC, assists in compiling the Meeting Planner’s Guide and the MICE Clients Management Database which has already established 1,025 accounts and is in the course of reviewing 3,000 potential business leads.
Antunes noted that MGTO has succeeded in bidding for the right to host the APAVT National Congress, the 11th Asia Pacific Life Insurance (APLIC) Congress and the 2009 PATA Board of Directors Meeting and Annual General Meeting.
MGTO is working on an “Industry Partner Program” which will invite members from the MICE industry to participate in various activities including training programs, industry networking functions and tradeshows, he continued. Trade members involved in the program will receive sales leads, listings in publications and on the website, as well as cooperative tradeshows and activity support.
Antunes expressed that “The Historic Center of Macau” is Macau’s valuable tourism resource, and MGTO will utilize various promotional tools to showcase Macau’s world heritage to the world and further diversify the tourism industry of Macau.
He expressed that guided by the policies of the Central Government, MGTO will strive to enhance the diversification of the tourism industry in accordance with the policy dictates of the Macau SAR Government. MGTO will also fine tune efforts in promotion and marketing while working closely with the travel trade to enhance the overall service quality in the tourism industry, aiming to develop Macau’s tourism industry healthily and to achieve diversification in order to increase the economic effect of tourism so as to bring about comprehensive benefits to the overall economy.
MGTO also premiered the latest “Experience Macau” promotional video themed with the five senses “See, Taste, Feel, Hear and Touch” to display the difference of Macau.
Following the opening ceremony, a mini mart was held for the local tourism trade to meet with representatives of MGTO to discuss business opportunities to bring in more visitors.