MGTO, industry hope for more foreigners in second half

Both the Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) and tourism industry representatives have expressed hope that in the second half of this year more foreign visitors will enter Macau.

In an interview with public broadcaster TDM, the deputy director of MGTO, Ricky Hoi, said that although the current figures are far from reaching pre-pandemic levels, provisional data shows that in the first half of this year (1H) approximately 1.1 million international tourists visited Macau.

This fact, as well as ongoing promotions, makes MGTO confident that the goal of two million foreign tourists for this year will be within reach.

Hoi said that authorities will continue to explore opportunities to enlarge the sources of international tourists. This includes the strategy of cooperating with the neighboring region of Hong Kong to attract international tourists who come to Hong Kong on cruise ship tours to extend their visit to Macau.

According to the same official, this type of partnership has already been extended to around 500 international tourists from six cruise tours who have visited Hong Kong and Macau.

Hoi said that these tourists are mainly from Europe, USA, Canada and Australia, adding that he hopes that the roadshow promotions in several Asian countries will continue to be effective and produce further results during the second half of this year.

On a similar topic, Andy Wu, president of the Travel Industry Council of Macau, said that he anticipates that the airlines will continue to increase the number and the capacity of flights to Macau.

Wu believes that international tourists will have an increased interest in visiting Macau, particularly in the second half of this year.

He also said that the measures recently introduced by the central government will also contribute to the increase of visits by mainland tour groups during the summer holiday period.

While there are no official statistics for the second quarter and first half of this year, according to the latest official statistics release made by the Statistics and Census Service, some 977,177 international visitors entered Macau between January and May this year. If Hoi’s figures are confirmed, this means that at least 123,000 international visitors entered Macau in June this year. In May this year, this figure was around 185,000.

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