Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes said yesterday her office will explore the possibility of converting old, low-rise buildings into self-catering accommodation flats for tourists.
According to The Macau Post Daily, Senna Fernandes made the remark at Macau Tower during the MGTO annual press conference about Macau ’s tourism statistics for the previous year and the government’s tourism plans for the new year.
She commented that setting up self-catering accommodation in the flats of a building where local people reside is a bad idea, pointing out that the tourists’ carefree behaviour could affect locals’ daily routines.
“So, what we are considering is self-catering flats in designated low-rise buildings where tourists will not affect locals while staying in Macau . That’s what we are thinking about,” said Senna Fernandes.
Senna Fernandes also said her office was aware that many tourists are interested of staying in a hostel or self-catering accommodation instead of hotels or resorts while visiting Macau , adding that self-catering flats would give tourists another choice.
“Perhaps some tourists are interested in staying in places similar to a hostel or self-catering accommodation where they can cook their own food, something that is closer to the locals’ way of life,” she said, adding her office would start conducting research about this idea soon and need to look at the regulations in other countries and regions concerning self-catering flats and similar types of accommodation.
She said she hoped that the office will have a result later in the year. “If the result shows that it is feasible, we’ll start working on it.”
Senna Fernandes also said apart from the idea of converting this kind of buildings into hostels and self-catering accommodation, her office also plans to promote so-called community tourism and the creative industry. She also said her office was mulling to set up more tourist routes in Macau with some of them going through Taipa, Coloane, the northern district and neighbourhoods near Camoes Park .
Community tourism aims to enable visitors to connect closely with the communities they visit.She also said another task that her office needed to do was to prepare for the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation’s Tourism Ministers Meeting, which will take place in Macau later this year.
Meanwhile, Senna Fernandes also said that Macau recorded 29.3 million visitor arrivals last year, 63.5 percent from the mainland, followed by Hong Kong at 23.1 percent, while Taiwanese visitors constituted 3.4 percent. In 2012, Macau logged 28.08 visitor arrivals.(macaunews)