“Macau wants to win international market and be known beyond the game”

Macau wants to conquer the international tourism market, namely European, to bet on the qualification and to be a territory known beyond the gaming industry, told the Director of Tourism Services.

We do not want Macau in the future to be mentioned only by the gaming industry,” Helena de Senna Fernandes admitted in an interview. But “this is not an easy path,” he added.

In terms of Government, we want to see other industries grow, using the gaming industry (..), such as conventions, creative industries and the gastronomy industry, which we are developing a lot,” he explained.

However, the head of the Macau Government Tourist Office said: “It is important to continue to invest in European, Asian and American markets … and have a broader view than (…) neighbouring destinations And for that the European market is important.

Our connection to Europe is important because it was our connection, especially with Portugal, that Macau was achieved today. Without this connection we could not have this world heritage,” he said.

It does not mean that we will suddenly transform Macau into a completely international destination because to be an international destination we still have to fight more and there are many things to do,” said Helena de Senna Fernandes.

Regarding the qualification of professionals in tourism, in a territory that grew 211% between 1999 and 2018, from 11.5 to 35.8 million tourists, the Director of the STD admitted the existence of challenges to overcome, but stressed that the authorities are aware.

“I know that on the part of our industry it is already saying that there is a lack in several areas and we are discussing the best way to train … local people,” he said.

On the other hand, “there are such shortcomings” needs to be analyzed, she said. “If you can not find these people in Macao, how can we find qualified people?

The treatment of tourism data is another priority of the Macao Special Administrative Region: “smart tourism is part of the great project of the Macao SAR Government of the smart city,” he said.

We are betting more, in a first phase, on how we can make a forecast of tourists that go to different areas of Macau,” he said.

For this reason, DST will “launch now, in the first quarter, a website that will inform tourists about the tourists’ forecast for the next four hours, 24 hours and the next seven days, so that people can better plan their travels and also avoid the larger flows and contraction and larger tourists, “he added.

“We have tested on Chinese New Year, the results were very positive,” he said, referring to the launch test of three projects planned for this year, in partnership with Alibaba group, in the area of tourism: platform for data exchange of tourism, application of observation of visitors and application of flow of visitors.

Monitoring is done in a number of areas, such as at the exit and entrance of border posts and at 20 tourist sites.

The Chinese make up the overwhelming majority of the 35.8 million tourists who visited Macau in 2018.

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