Continued launch of new tourism experiences and lively festivities in Macao throughout 2021 set the stage for a robust destination recovery in the new year
Brought to you by Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO)
Stability in pandemic controls through most parts of 2021 has allowed Macao to shine as a tourist destination, with numerous fresh activities and events keeping visitors engaged and enthralled all year round.
Furthermore, without having to put prolonged brakes on travel and tourism within the destination, Macao has the benefit of experience to perfect the art of welcoming and caring for her visitors in the safest possible ways.
A fulfilling year in review
The year 2021 has seen Macao kicking off a series of “tourism+” initiatives that sought to raise the competitiveness of the destination’s tourism industry and facilitate collaboration between tourism, business events and other emerging industries such as e-commerce and creative sectors. For travellers, these “tourism+” initiatives have translated to enhanced experiences.
From Art Macao: Macao International Art Biennale 2021 to the 68th Macau Grand Prix, the Asian destination has been a lively hub of impressive festivals, with extensive activities around the main event to entertain residents and visitors alike.
This month’s highlight is the popular Macao Light Festival, which returns this year with the theme, Travellers from Mars. From December 4, 2021 to January 2, 2022, landmarks in areas such as Taipa, Nam Van District and Praia do Manduco District will tell the tale of how our Martian friends discover tourism, culture, science, leisure, gastronomy, environmental protection and more through projection mapping and light installations.
Visual treats continue with Light up Macao Drone Gala, where some 300 drones take to the evening sky above Nam Van Lake every weekend to put on visually stunning performances led by talented teams from mainland China.
Demonstrating the value of tourism as a vehicle to leave a positive legacy on the destination’s community, Macao’s Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Department launched the Distinctive Shops Programme in 2021 to uplift local small- and medium-sized restaurants, eateries and retailers.
Conducted in collaboration with district-based business associations, the Distinctive Shops Programme handpicks outstanding enterprises and provides them with various forms of assistance to enable them to sharpen their business acumen and raise their competitiveness, which ultimately give domestic and foreign customers an extraordinary destination experience.
Macao’s tourism and hospitality stakeholders have also maintained their spirit of innovation, rolling out fresh attractions to satiate wanderlust amid the pandemic. Some of the new products that have hit the marketplace include Barra Pier and the scenic Barra-Coloane Ferry Route; the upgraded Macao Grand Prix Museum; the Lisboeta Macau integrated resort, which is opening progressively and now offers unique attractions such as GoAirborne Macau and Zipcity Macau; and Grand Lisboa Palace Resort.
The way forward
For travel agents and planners, Macao is a destination partner that continues to inspire confidence and forward-thinking ideas. Besides working more closely with the travel trade on tourism recovery projects and strategic development in 2022 for expanding tourism source markets, supporting the development of key tourism sectors and strengthening regional cooperation with Hengqin and the Greater Bay Area.
Travel agents and planners will also benefit from destination promotion support offered through the ever-growing star appeal of Macao tourism mascot, MAK MAK, as well as regular MAK MAK themed events – all of which can be woven into the creation of their own tourism activities.
In addition, new tourism products and services can be listed on MGTO’s new Macao Full of Fun – Smart Trip Planner to keep travellers well informed.
As the Year of the Tiger approaches, travel agents and planners will discover even more exciting events in February to weave into their new Macao itineraries. Lunar New Year celebrations will include parades, a fireworks extravaganza, performances led by local and mainland Chinese troupes, and fancy float exhibitions.
Macao will not only shine on the leisure front, as the destination’s 2022 business events calendar will feature high profile gatherings such as the 10th Macao International Travel (Industry) Expo and the Global Tourism Economy Forum.