The seventh edition of the Macao International Travel (Industry) Expo (MITE) will accommodate a total of 800 booths this year – an increase of 250 booths from last year’s edition.
To be held from April 26 to 28, the expo will have two pavilions in its 22,000 square meters space: the “Cultural and Creative Pavilion,” which features interactive cultural and creative experiences and the “China and Portuguese-Speaking Countries Pavilion”.
The latter aims to deepen cultural and tourism exchange between China and Portuguese-speaking countries by presenting products and performances from both geographical regions. According to the director of the Macao Government Tourism Bureau, Helena de Senna Fernandes, the space of the expo has expanded from last year’s 11,000 square meters to provide added convenience to its visitors.
“Last year, many people thought that the hallway between the exhibitors’ booths were too narrow […] so this year we needed more space […] to provide more convenience to the public,” said the tourism official in a press conference held yesterday.
The budget of this year’s expo is MOP23 million – an increase of 70 percent from the total budget of MOP16 million for last year’s edition.
The tourism bureau will contribute MOP15.6 million, and the rest is covered by sponsors and the expo revenue.
The bureau said that the expo would continue to facilitate partnership opportunities for industry delegates and build a sales exhibition platform for local travel agents and residents.
The three-day event will present seven key highlights, including fostering tourism partnerships under the Belt and Road Initiative, developing multi-destination itineraries in the Greater Bay Area and exploring gastronomy and sustainable development.
An educational session will also be held in partnership with National Geographic to explore how Macau is leading a shift towards a more sustainable and creative food industry across Asia.
This year’s edition will also bring together about 130 tourism entities from some 35 regions along the Belt and Road in a bid to foster tourism partnership.
MITE aims to gather professionals and operators from tourism and other related sectors worldwide, including travel agencies, hotels, attractions, transportation as well as other travel-related services.
To date, about 430 enterprises and entities as well as 450 buyers from more than 50 countries and regions have confirmed their participation in MITE.
Last year, the expo gathered 420 exhibitors from over 50 countries and regions, admitting over 40,000 visitors and over 300 industry buyers from major visitor source markets, according to data provided by MGTO.
The sixth edition facilitated the signing of 38 cooperative agreements.
IFT: Macau’s tourist capacity is 40 million
According to a study conducted by the Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT), Macau is capable of hosting 40 million visitors per year, the director of the Macao Government Tourism Bureau, Helena de Senna Fernandes told the press yesterday.
Although the official considered the figure to be relatively high, Fernandes said that the bureau needs to “provide a safe environment for tourists, as well as introduce different spots for tourists.”
MGTO will not commence any studies on the figure as IFT had already done so, she said.
Fernandes further explained that the bureau is hoping to advance on its smart tourism projects that involves the “tourism data exchange platform,” “visitor observation application,” and “smart visitor flow application.”
In terms of balancing the lives of local residents and tourists, Fernandes said that the bureau is open to working with local district associations to understand the traffic flow in residential areas.