A parade and exhibition of floats with 1,000 performers, a stage show and a fireworks display are some of the things that the government is organising for the Lunar New Year celebrations in a bid to attract tourists to stay longer over the festive season, Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes said Thursday.
Senna Fernandes told reporters during a press conference at the Macau Tourism and Cultural Activities Centre near the St. Paul’s Ruins that it was the first time ever that the bureau has organised Lunar New Year activities.
“As many shops are closed during the Lunar New Year, [the parade] will help to spread the holiday spirit,” she said.
According to Senna Fernandes, the “Parade for the Celebration of the Year of the Snake”, which is jointly organised by the MGTO, Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) and Cultural Affairs Bureau (ICM), will cost 8.4 million patacas and an extra 1.6 million patacas for a pyrotechnic show.
The parade on February 12 will start at 8 p.m. from Nam Van Lake to Sai Van Lake Square, followed by a stage performance in the square at 9 p.m. and a fireworks display at 10 p.m.
The parade will be repeated on February 16 in the Iao Hon area, near the border with China, which Senna Fernandes said was aimed at helping add an element of tourism to the peninsula’sdensely-populated northern districts.
The 10 floats from the parade will be put on display at Sai Van Lake and Tap Seac Square fromFebruary 12 to 24.
“With these activities, we are not as such attracting more tourists but encouraging tourists to stay longer,” she said, adding that she did not expect a significant increase in visitor arrivals this year.
“We may have a low single-digit growth, I don’t believe there will a major growth [in visitor arrivals this year],” she was quoted by The Macau Post Daily as saying.
Meanwhile, she also confirmed that the bureau’s representative office in Russia has recently opened after Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Cheong U authorised it two weeks ago.
Senna Fernandes said last month that Russia will be one of the key markets that the bureau will focus on this year to expand the city’s visitor profile.
According to previous reports, Russia topped Macau’s list with the highest growth rate in package-tour visitor arrivals last year, with a growth of 122.9 percent between January and November.
Macau logged 28.08 million visitor arrivals last year, up 0.3 percent year-on-year.(macaunews)