Tourism authority: no plan for visitor tax

The director of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), Helena de Senna Fernandes, has said that there is no plan to implement a visitor arrival tax.

During the past Labor Day holidays, Macau received more than 636,000 visitors, just 40,000 short of the total population of Macau in the first quarter of 2019. Even though the MGTO has been pledging to drive tourists into other districts, images still showed popular attractions, such as the Ruins of St. Paul’s, packed with people during the holiday.

In response to an enquiry from lawmaker Agnes Lam, the MGTO head explained that a levy would impact Macau’s image as global tourism destination and likely affect the travel incentive of the city. Additionally, mainland authorities might implement the same levy on Macau residents entering the mainland. She noted that most of the tourists in Macau are from the mainland.

Senna Fernandes also emphasized that law enforcement agencies had been working hard to manage the flow of visitors during peak times. She noted that the MGTO will hold meetings with organizers after tourism events organized by businesses or neighborhood associations. Staff reporter

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