Macau, China, 13 April – The government of Macau is going to grant around US$12.5 million (100 million patacas) in subsidies over the next six months to help the tourism sector, Manuel Costa Antunes, the Director of Macau’s Tourism Services said.
At the end of a meeting to study proposals to deal with the crisis in the sector, Antunes said proposals included subsidies for travel agents and tour operators so that they can offer a two-night stay for each visitor as part of their promotional packages for Macau.
Macau airlines Air Macau and Viva Macau and 14 others that use Macau as a stop-over are also going to be included in the subsidies aimed at promoting Macau, thus attracting more tourists.
Antunes said that six months after the subsidies go into effect, a new analysis will be made in regards to the situation and new measures will be taken.
Macau’s head of tourism also said that in the first three months of 2009 the region saw a drop in the number of visitors, in hotel occupancy and in business tourism.
Antunes added that the number of tourists from South Korea that visited Macau fell though said that the number of visitors from Hong Kong increased.
According to official data cited by news agency MacauNews, 3.5 million tourists entered Macau in the first two months of 2009, which represents a drop of 8.5 percent against the same period in 2008.
The number of visitors from mainland China fell 15.8 percent, from Taiwan the figure dropped 7.9 percent, and from South Korea the number decreased 50.42 percent.
The number of tourists from Japan increased in the first two months of 2009 by around 13.9 percent, and from Hong Kong this figure also increased, specifically by 6.7 percent. (macauhub)