Macau struggles with boom in tourist arrivals

Tourist office prepares strategies to cope with deluge

Booming arrivals to Macau are troubling the city’s ability to comfortably accommodate everyone, having seen 29 million tourists last year.

Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, director of the Macau Government Tourist Office, has told a press conference that it would start formulating a “tourism master plan”, strengthen industry training and management, enhance tourism service quality and cooperate with regional and international partners to deal with the influx.

“We’ll continue community tourism and launch four more new walking routes this year covering areas like Palafitte in Coloane, the ruins of St Paul’s to Jardim Luis de Camões, Taipa and the north district [to divert tourist traffic],” she said.

As for accommodation, a dedicated team has been assigned to speed up hotel applications.

But travel consultants are not optimistic. An inbound consultant who declined to be named suggested that the tourist office should reconsider whether it should continue attracting more tourists at all.

“With the current state of infrastructure, narrow roads and limited space result in traffic jams. Coach buses have nowhere to park. There is also no clear delineation between peak and low season due to growing inbound traffic. It’s almost high season all the time. The diversion of tourist traffic is OK, but this may create a nuisance to the local community. [The tourist office] should look for markets with many repeat visitors.”

TTG Asia

[pictured: The new Sheraton Macao Hotel]

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