Macau, China, 19 Sept – Macau should place its bets on the Indian market, improve transport infrastructure and service quality, as well as create more offers for families, to become a global tourism and entertainment centre, head of the team of experts of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Andrew Drysdale, suggested.
A group of seven PATA experts from the academic and consultancy fields of expertise ranging from aviation to destination management and branding were in Macau last week for a field visit.
They were commissioned by the Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) to establish a task force to provide expert opinions in determining future tourism policies and plans required to achieve the positioning of Macau as a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure.
According to The Macau Daily Times the task force is expected to submit a full report to MGTO by early 2012.
In a interview with Macau television (TDM) the head of the PATA team urged Macau to play big on the Indian market.
“If you had a compass and you drew a line around for five hours flying around Macau, keep your focus on that region.
Go after the Indian market. You already have the mainland Chinese market and you are doing that very well,” he said.
The Indian market is “enormous” and it’s growing at around 20 to 18 percent per year, Drysdale stressed.
He also pointed out that Macau is a “unique” destination for India. “Remember that there is also a Portuguese element to India’s history as well. So you can play on that. I think you have a unique message to sell to them and to do that you’re going to need air links.
If you can open up direct flight services between Macau and India it will be very advantageous for you,” he remarked.
Macau registered a boom in Indian visitors last year. Around 169,000 Indian citizens have visited Macau in 2010, showing an increase of 60 percent. Only 5,000 tourists from India had visited Macau in 2002, but in 2009 the numbers reached 107,513.
Latest official statistics show a slight decrease in the number of Indian visitors, however.
In the second quarter of this year, 61,837 tourists from India came to Macau, down 2.5 percent compared to the same period of 2010.
International Airport Company has been trying to lure companies to operate flights between the two sides since last year. They are offering special rebates to the airline that first launches connectivity between India and Macau, but there have been no results up to now.
Drysdale pointed out that Macau should target small companies that don’t have major operations in Hong Kong.(MacauNews/ Tourism)