Newly appointed Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Director Maria Helena da Senna Fernandes said Wednesday at her swearing in ceremony in the Tourism Activity Centre that Macau would see a further growth in terms of the number of tourists visiting the city, but contended that Macau is still capable of handling the increase.
Senna Fernandes said she anticipated that the growth would be largely driven by the Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Railway, as she indicated that the new system, which will be in operation next year, would provide a more convenient way for tourists to get to Macau.
However, she declined to estimate how many more tourists would come to Macau.
“We are still estimating (the number of tourists])… We don’t believe that the growth will be too significant but the exact figures will be out next year,” said Senna Fernandes.
She also said that recent studies conducted by the Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT) shows that Macau can cope with up to 29 million visitors annually, adding that Macau has not reached this benchmark since about 28 million tourists visited the city this year.
Meanwhile, João Manuel Costa Antunes, the outgoing tourism office director who is now officially the Macau Grand Prix Committee Co-ordinator, said also Wednesday at his swearing in ceremony in the same premises that his committee plans to expand the Grand Prix building at the starting line near the Outer Harbour.
Costa Antunes added that the building, which has been in use since 1993, might not be able to provide enough space for Grand Prix competitors, their pit teams and journalists covering the event.
“I personally believe that we need to do this in order to increase the quality of the Grand Prix,” said Costa Antunes. “… When the time is right, we shall reveal our plans to revamp the buildinp and surrounding areas.”
He added that the committee might contemplate adding more types of races to diversify the Grand Prix on the condition that it would not affect the public.(macaunews)