The government officially announced late last week the draft law that will establish the new regime for the operation of the civil aviation market, in a decisive step to liberalize Macau’s aviation sector and end Air Macau’s monopoly as Macau’s only flag carrier.
To better understand the impacts and opportunities that such a new regime, based on the issuance of licenses instead of a concession, can bring to the hospitality and tourism sector, the Times interviewed the president of the Macao Tourism and Hospitality Association, Dr. Amy So on the topic.
Macau Daily Times (MDT) – What are the perceived impacts and opportunities [of the opening of the local aviation market] for the local tourism operators?
Dr. Amy So, President of the Macao Tourism and Hospitality Association (MacTHA) – The opening of the air transport market in Macau is expected to have a positive impact on the local tourism industry and create opportunities for tourism operators.
With the possibility of more airlines operating on Macau routes, it could attract more visitors to the city, which is in line with the economic policy of diversifying visitors and attracting international visitors.
This development supports the “1+4 strategy” by bringing international visitors to Macau and to the in-depth cooperation zone, which [will] create new opportunities for the tourism industry.
Additionally, the increased competition in the air transport market will provide Macau residents with more choices and convenience when traveling abroad, which is a significant benefit for locals [too].
Overall, the opening of the air transport market is expected to create new opportunities for the tourism industry and enhance the convenience of travel for both locals and visitors.
MDT – Do you perceive this opening to take effect this year?
MacTHA – The timing of the opening of the air transport market in Macau will depend on how quickly the necessary legislation and approval procedures can be processed. While it may be a bit tight to finish it within this year, the development is a positive step towards liberalizing the market and promoting increased competition.
MDT- How do you see this bid in terms of the creation of more opportunities for the influx of non-domestic visitors?
MacTHA – The opening of the air transport market in Macau is expected to create more opportunities for non-domestic visitors to visit Macau. Improved transportation options such as direct or non-stop flights [could] significantly impact attracting visitors to Macau, which is likely to benefit the tourism industry and the local economy as a whole.
The increased competition in the air transport market could lead to lower airfares, improved services, and more job opportunities. This, in turn, [would] create a more favorable environment for tourism operators.
MDT – Will this be a facilitating factor of the role attributed to the six gaming concessionaires to attract foreign visitors?
MacTHA – Yes, the opening of the air transport market is expected to facilitate the role of the six gaming concessionaires in attracting foreign visitors.
The increased competition in the air transport market will provide more options for travelers, making it easier for them to visit Macau. This could potentially result in increased business and revenue for tourism operators, as well as casino operators.