As veteran Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Director Joao Manuel
Costa Antunes will step down in December after 24 years at the helm of
the office, his anointed successor, MGTO Deputy Director Maria Helena de
Senna Fernandes said Wednesday her main tasks would be to continue the
office’s work of attracting more tourists to Macau, in addition to
shutting down the city’s illegal inns.
Speaking to reporters at the Karting Circuit in Coloane in preparation
for the Macau International Kart Grand Prix, Senna Fernandes pointed out
that the task of putting the illegal inns out of business involves
close co-operation with other bureaus.
According to The Macau Post Daily, Senna Ferandes said as the operators
of illegal inns keep changing tactics in the way they run their illicit
businesses, her office would continue to communicate with officials from
other bureaus to put into action effective and up-to-date measures,
adding that this would be helped by newly employed inspectors.
When asked about the reasons behind the fact that the number of tourists
who visited Macau and the amount of money they spent during the
mainland’s National Day holiday were lower than expected, she hinted
that it might be due to the global economic downturn and the fact that
the mainland’s economic growth has somewhat slowed down.
Senna Fernandes said in order to change this, her office would strive to
find more areas in the city that have the potential to become tourist
attractions. She indicated that creating and promoting new attractions
could possibly encourage tourists stay longer and probably spend more
money during their visit to the city.
The director-designate said she expected that there will be single-digit
growth in the number of visitor arrivals this year compared to last
year, but she expected that the number of tourists visiting the city
this year would probably not exceed 30 million.
Macau recorded 28 million visitor arrivals last year.
Meanwhile, the 2012 Macau International Kart Grand Prix begins today at
the Karting Circuit in Coloane featuring 33 kart racers from 16
countries and regions. The final race will be held on Sunday. Admission