‘Tourism +’ to increase in 2023

Activities under “Tourism +” are likely to increase over 2023, the director of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes said at the Legislative Assembly (AL) this week in a reply to lawmaker Ma Io Fong.

At the AL to participate in the Q&A about the Policy Address for 2023 (LAG23), Senna Fernandes explained that the activities under “Tourism +” are likely to increase in 2023 as a new subtype “Tourism + Education” will likely commence, she said. She noted the government has commissioned a travel agency to conduct a study which has since concluded; the final report should be submitted to MGTO this year.

She said the report’s conclusion will direct the creation of this new type of tourism program that might also include the maritime tourism that has been ongoing for the past four years.

Senna Fernandes said that since 2018 two companies have been established to develop tourist sea routes. She said that over the past four years those companies have already completed over 4,000 routes and carried 110,000 people.

The figure includes the MGTO program of local excursions targeting the lack of visitors from abroad and which aimed to keep travel agencies running over the peak of the pandemic period.

She said there are negotiations to extend these trips to different locations, namely by creating more pick-up and drop-off piers, to increase visitor interest in these activities.

One of the ideas advanced at the AL was to create routes that include the Cooperation Zone in Hengqin with several passenger drop-off and pick-up points to create multi-destination routes, she said, noting that such a plan is currently being considered.

Senna Fernandes, citing official MGTO statistics, noted that “Tourism + Sports” is the type of “Tourism +” that is attracting more young adults with many of the interested being people in between the early 20s and mid-30s. RM

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