Admitting that several Indian tourists’ recent complaints about alleged discrimination by local immigration officers have affected Macau’s image to a certain extent, Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes pledged on Sunday that her office will strengthen communication with Indian tourists in the future.
Senna Fernandes made the remarks on the sidelines of a prize-giving ceremony organised by the Scout Association of Macau at the Macau Federation of Trade Unions’ Workers Stadium near the Barrier Gate checkpoint.
A number of Indian tourists are understood to have recently complained about alleged discrimination by local immigration officers, such as being requested to show their return tickets and to prove that they have enough cash for their intended stay here.
The Immigration Department has denied any discrimination.
Senna Fernandes said the issue had affected Macau’s image to a certain extent. However, she stressed: “It’s certainly not discrimination,” adding she believed it was just a normal procedure carried out by the Immigration Department.
Asked by reporters whether the government was planning to speed up Indian tourists’ immigration procedures, Senna Fernandes said she understood that Indian tourists might feel upset about the process but she stressed that immigration checks are very important.
Senna Fernandes also said her office would provide more information to Indian tourists so that they could have the necessary documents ready to show immigration officers upon arrival here.
According to data from the Statistics and Census Bureau (DSEC), there were 61,910 visitors arrivals from India in the second quarter of the year, accounting for 0.85 per cent of the total number of visitor arrivals.(Macau News / The Macau Post Daily)