“It is the first time that the Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) is using intellectual property (IP) branding, for Macau’s official tourism promotion mascot Mak Mak, as a tourism marketing strategy,” MGTO Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, said on the sidelines of the launch of a new financial support programme for cultural tourism branding Thursday.
MGTO and the Cultural Industries Fund (FIC) launched the new programme at the Macau Young Entrepreneur Incubation Centre in Nape.
“We would like to invite Macau’s creative minds to help us develop cultural tourism products and experience services using the city’s mascot, Mak Mak,” said Senna-Fernandes.
She added that tourism products could be souvenirs for visitors or visitor experience services such as virtual reality (VR) games to learn more about Macau’s landmarks and heritage. Senna Fernandes said she hoped that through the programme MGTO could use collective creativity to promote Mak Mak and Macau’s cultural heritage.
A statement released by the co-organisers pointed out that the financial support programme aims to encourage local artists to be more involved with the promotion of the city’s mascot.
The statement noted that the programme consists of two projects, one for product design, and the other for visitor experience service innovations. A total of 10 products and two visitor experience services will be selected. Applicants can hand in their applications and design proposals from next Monday until August 30.
The two co-organisers will provide up to 500,000 patacas in financial support for each design and five million patacas for developing visitor experience services. Locally-owned companies are eligible to apply for the financial support, and Mak Mak must be incorporated in the designs. MGTO has obtained the right to use Mak Mak as Macau’s tourism mascot initially for five years.
Senna-Fernandes noted that Macau revealed its new tourism promotion mascot, Mak Mak designed by Tou Chon Wai, last year already. The mascot is a black-faced spoonbill decorated with red, yellow and blue designs which represent the blend of Macau’s Western and Chinese culture. Tou’s design was inspired by the UNESCO World-Heritage-protected Guia Lighthouse, Senna Fernandes said. Mak Mak wears a hat resembling the iconic lighthouse.
Mak Mak’s task is to encourage visitors to explore Macau’s diverse heritage, she said.
Senna Fernandes underlined that black-faced spoonbills are an endangered species. Some of the extremely rare large water birds spend their winter in an officially protected mangrove in Cotai.
According to previous media reports, fewer than 3,000 black-faced spoonbills are left in the world.(Macaunews)