Exchange of ideas on forging Macao into a world centre of tourism and leisure and a City of Gastronomy in concerted effort.
Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) hosted a dialogue session between MGTO Director and youth at the Institute for Tourism Studies on 8 March. Under the topic of forging Macao into a world centre of tourism and leisure and a City of Gastronomy in concerted effort, dialogues with university and college students were unfolded around the future of Macao’s tourism industry. Students also raised their questions and expressed their opinions regarding smart tourism, crowd management, Creative City of Gastronomy, tourism promotion, MICE, transportation and more.
MGTO Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Deputy Director Cheng Wai Tong, and Head of Organizational Planning and Development Department, Ricky Hoi, joined teachers and students coming from six local universities, colleges and institutes in the dialogue session.
In her presentation to around 50 young tertiary students at the session, MGTO Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes introduced Macao’s positioning as a world centre of tourism and leisure, the organizational structure of MGTO, the Macao Tourism Industry Development Master Plan, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as well as the vision of Macao as a Creative City of Gastronomy. Following that, Director Senna Fernandes conversed and exchanged ideas with students on the future direction of Macao’s tourism development. She encouraged young participants to actively voice their opinions and perspectives on local tourism outlook, in the hope of learning about young minds and their aspirations to bring them into the Government’s formulation of future tourism policies such that the building of Macao into a world centre of tourism and leisure and a City of Gastronomy will become a concerted project joined by all. Student participants actively voiced their ideas and raised various questions regarding the prospect of Macao in becoming a world centre of tourism and leisure and the governmental policies on forging Macao into a Creative City of Gastronomy.
Some students expressed that there are not sufficient direction signs for tourists visiting Macao on foot, and in turn suggested to set up electronic signs to assist crowd diversion. Other students raised questions on how to effectively promote the diverse events and festivities as well as museums in Macao to tourists. Director Senna Fernandes reverted that the Macao SAR Government is devoting relentless effort in the development of smart tourism, in hopes that in the future visitors will be able to obtain tourist updates and related information about the tourist attractions and the environs that they are located at the moment with a click of their smartphones. She would also like to make use of technology to disseminate relevant tourist information directly to visitors according to their respective interests and preferences.
Regarding enquiries on how to attract more MICE events to be held in Macao, MGTO Director Senna Fernandes remarked that the vital factors lie on the brand promotion and accessibility of Macao. It is expected that the inauguration of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge will help to bring about benefits in attracting more MICE events to the city.
By inviting students into the dialogue, MGTO hopes to lift the level of enthusiasm and involvement among students toward tourism industry development and the city’s transformation into a City of Gastronomy. Director Senna Fernandes is delighted to see students showing active regards for Macao’s tourism industry and enthusiastically expressing their opinions and aspirations for the future of the local tourism industry, in addition to sharing about their travel style and mindset. The tourism department officials have the opportunity to listen to thoughts among local youth, which will serve as practical reference during the formulation of tourism policies and governmental administration through incorporating the young generation’s mindset.
Director Senna Fernandes pointed out that to catch up with the rapid development and transformation of the world nowadays, it takes relentless effort of the tourism industry at large to work on different aspects including tourism quality, reform, innovation and inheritance, to help the city to move forward and become a world centre of tourism and leisure.