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PATA Annual Summit press conference highlights Macao’s Tourism rebound and future plans

PATA Annual Summit (PAS) 2024 - Press Conference

Macao’s tourism rebounds with a focus on international visitors and diversified offerings, as highlighted at the PATA Annual Summit.

Macao – At the PATA Annual Summit held at the Grand Lisboa Palace, Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes and PATA Chairman Peter Semone addressed international and local media, highlighting Macao’s tourism resurgence and future strategies.

Macao’s Tourism Recovery

Senna Fernandes expressed delight in hosting the first major PATA event in Macao post-pandemic, emphasizing the summit’s importance in showcasing Macao’s renewed commitment to responsible tourism development in the Asia Pacific region.

She noted that Macao is actively working to attract more international visitors, diversifying its tourism offerings beyond casinos to include MICE, culture, and sports. The city has doubled its promotional efforts internationally, focusing initially on Southeast and Northeast Asia, with plans to expand further.

In 2024, Macao aims to welcome 33 million visitors, including 2 million international visitors, exceeding pre-pandemic levels. Senna Fernandes acknowledged the challenge of overtourism in central areas and emphasized efforts to promote community tourism and distribute benefits more evenly.

PATA’s Role and Activities

PATA Chairman Peter Semone praised Macao’s transformation into an international tourism hub and expressed PATA’s commitment to supporting the city’s responsible tourism development. He highlighted MGTO’s long-standing partnership with PATA, including hosting past events and supporting the PATA Gold Awards.

Semone outlined PATA’s activities, including the Executive Board and Board meetings, a youth symposium focused on human capital development, and roundtable discussions on government and industry collaboration. The summit itself has attracted over 400 delegates from more than 25 destinations, signaling optimism in the industry’s recovery.

Q&A Session

During the Q&A session, Senna Fernandes addressed questions on talent development, emphasizing the importance of investing in people and fostering a culture of hospitality. She discussed the challenges and strategies in developing Muslim-friendly tourism, highlighting the need for cultural understanding and specialized training.

The topic of overtourism was revisited, with Senna Fernandes outlining efforts to balance tourism distribution across different areas of Macao.

In response to a question about hosting future PATA events in other countries, PATA CEO Noor Ahmad Hamid expressed openness to the possibility, noting that the decision would involve discussions with potential host cities.

Senna Fernandes concluded by expressing enthusiasm for Korean Air’s new daily flights to Macao and outlining plans to further promote Macao in the Korean market through both online and offline channels.

Overall, the press conference painted a positive picture of Macao’s tourism recovery and its commitment to responsible and sustainable development in partnership with PATA.

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