Macau business events soar nearly 300 per cent

Macau – According to the annual global indicators report by the Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO), over the last decade the number of business events held here has increased by 270 per cent — from 278 in 2004 to 1,030 in 2013. And the figures for the first half of 2014 are promising and will likely top the previous year again.

The rise of Macau’s business events has been a collective effort; in 2012 a new structure was formalised under the Macau SAR Government, aiming to further strengthen and nurture its business events industry. Under this structure, meetings, conventions and exhibitions are the mandate of the Macau Economic Services (MES), while incentives are under the responsibility of MGTO. 

MGTO launched the Incentive Travel Stimulation Programme in 2012 with the aim to boost business tourism. To assist event planners in organising their incentive travel groups to Macau, MGTO extended the programme until the end of this year. Qualified activities include incentive activities, team-building activities, award dinners, and local transportation. Complimentary tourist information kits and welcome gifts are given out to beneficiaries, and they are given free admission to the Wine Museum and Grand Prix Museum.

Macau’s tourism officials note that China, Hong Kong and Taiwan are the strongest players for the programme. From January to August 2014, MGTO received a total of nine subsidy applications from China, which involved more than 32,000 participants. Despite long travelling times, Macau also attracted groups from medium to long-haul markets such as Spain and Australia. In July 2014, the Tourism Office received a mega incentive travel group comprising 3,500 management personnel and elites of Flight Centre Travel Group from Australia, and the United States, for a series of meetings, team-building activities and post-event arrangements. 

MGTO also has a regular presence at international travel trade fairs such as CIBTM to promote its business events, and highlight Macau as an incentive destination.  The Tourism Office also linked up with the local Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) to hold a booth under the theme ‘Touching Moments — Experience Macau’ in IMEX America, held in October. As part of the ongoing cooperation between Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau to promote multi-destination tourism in the region, the booth also helps to promote the theme of ‘One Event, Three Nearby
Leisure Experiences.’

Meanwhile, MES has put forward the International Meeting and Trade Fair Support Programme, targeted at international meetings and trade fairs to be held in Macau. For meetings, MES offers financial support in addition to basic assistances: up to 30 per cent of accommodation costs, up to 800 Macau patacas (US$100) F&B and meeting packages; 50 per cent off the cost of promotional and marketing activities, interpretation and translation costs, and 25 per cent of venue rental for exhibitions. For trade fairs, extra grants on logistics and hardware are offered.


Macau business tourism boomed along with the favourable conditions with the completion and opening up of tourism infrastructure, support facilities and services, as well as new infrastructure projects ahead which will improve accessibility to Macau and transportation within the city, like the Zhuhai-Hong Kong-Macau Bridge and the high-speed rail and intercity services in China.  Macau is engaged in regional cooperation in tourism with nearby destinations such as Zhongshan, Zhuhai and Hong Kong, promoting the city as one of the go-to places in multi-destination tours. 

Looking ahead

MGTO says it is dedicated to developing Macau’s leisure and business tourism, so as to position Macau as a ‘World Centre of Tourism and Leisure’, and also a city of events. MGTO reports that it is promoting this former Portuguese territory not only as a tourism destination for leisure travellers, but also as a comprehensive destination for incentive travel.

In addition to the existing hotel establishments, new integrated resorts, hotels and entertainment complexes are due to open in the next few years. A number of themed integrated resorts are already under construction, including Macau Studio City, Lisboa Palace with a Lisboa Palace hotel, a Palazzo Versace Macau and a Karl Lagerfeld hotel, The Parisian Macao, Wynn Palace, MGM Cotai and a new tower hotel at City of Dreams, the latter designed by acclaimed Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid. Source: CEI

Photo: Macau Grand Prix