Mainland tourists are looking for local experiences beyond the usual tourist trail in Macau, China Tourism Academy (CTA) President Dai Bin said during a panel discussion of the Global Tourism Economy Forum (GTEF) on Sunday.
Aside from visiting the Ruins of St Paul’s and other popular tourist attractions, Dai said that tourists were looking for additional travel information through online tourism applications or websites such as Mafengwo.com which provide tips and recommendations about attractions that are closer to local residents’ daily lives.
Dai said that being a small city, Macau was very suitable for individual travellers. Tourists could easily go from one place to another, he said.
Dai also suggested that the Macau government put more effort into targeting the youth and children travel segment, as tourists in Macau often travel with family.
The forum is an annual forum that aims to provide a platform for global tourism exchanges and co-operation, hosted by the Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture. The forum is chaired by Edmund Ho Hau Wah, Macau’s first chief executive. Ho is now a vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
MGM China Holdings Executive Director Pansy Ho Chiu-king is the secretary-general and vice-chairwoman of the forum.
The two-day forum, which ended on Sunday, was themed “The Growing Consumer Class – Rethinking and Reshaping the Future Tourism Landscape”.
With France as the forum’s first partner country and Beijing as partner from mainland China, was held at Studio City. The forum gathered senior government officials, businesspeople and scholars such as the vice-mayor in charge of tourism of Paris, Jean-Francois Martins, Europass CEO Guillaume de Roquefueil, and Mafengwo.com Chief Operating Office Lü Gang,
Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes said in a speech at the closing ceremony on Sunday that this year’s forum, the fifth, had been more global than previous ones, and would continue to develop in this direction. She also said that aside from holding theoretical discussions, she hoped that the forum could provide practical benefits for the participants’ businesses such as being a reference for their future strategic planning.
Senna Fernandes told reporters on the sidelines of the forum on Sunday she would like to see between four and five million “international” visitor arrivals per year, compared to the about three million per annum in the past few years.
Next Year’s 6th GTEF will have the Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs) as partner countries and Guizhou province as mainland partner.