DestinationsMacao Ready Go! Local Tours is the SAR’s latest project targeting domestic travel, with monetary subsidies given to residents when they sign up for local tours

New campaign gets Macau's trade and residents ready for local tours

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To revitalise Macau’s tourism sector, the US$35 million scheme offers local tours covering both traditional heritage sights and integrated resort attractions.
To revitalise Macau’s tourism sector, the US$35 million scheme offers local tours covering both traditional heritage sights and integrated resort attractions. Photo Credit: Macao Government Tourism Office USA

Taking its first steps to overcome the coronavirus-induced tourism slump, the SAR government has allocated MOP$280 million (US$35 million) in subsidies and incentives to assist local travel operators while enticing residents to explore more of their home city.

A total of 15 itineraries across two categories - community or leisure - are available on the newly launched e-platform dedicated to the Macao Ready Go! project. The tours cover various heritage sites and integrated resort (IR) attractions in the destination, including popular spots such as St Augustine’s Church, Dom Pedro V Theatre, Mandarin’s House and A-Ma Temple, plus scenic lookouts – like the roof terrace of the Colégio Mateus Ricci, overlooking the Ruin’s of St. Paul’s, another icon of Macau.

Under this scheme, each Macau resident will receive a subsidy of MOP$560 (US$70), which can be used to join the 15 itineraries. Conducted in Cantonese, these tours can accept between 10 and 20 people for each two-hour session, and are expected to run until 30 September 2020.

Macao Ready Go! has so far received positive response from the domestic market, with over 3,100 locals signed up directly through travel agents when the scheme was launched on 17 June last week.

Some 148 travel agents and 750 tour guides are set to benefit from this scheme, while positive impacts also expected to trickle down to suppliers such as drivers, guides, insurance providers, and external caterers.

In a show of its commitment towards business recovery in the post-pandemic norm, the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) has stepped up its engagement with operators on the importance of sanitisation efforts, and “tour guides have or will receive specific training with regards to the current situation prior to the commencement of tours”, a spokesperson shared.

Galaxy Macau’s Grand Resort Deck is one of the included attractions offered by the IR, as part of the Macao Ready Go!, scheme.
Galaxy Macau’s Grand Resort Deck is one of the included attractions offered by the IR, as part of the Macao Ready Go!, scheme.

Numerous travel industry players in Macau have joined the scheme, including all six IR operators in the destination, wooing the local market with their offers of attractively priced room packages or upgrades, often paired with complimentary dining or spa vouchers.

“Macao Ready Go provides a platform for Sands Resorts Macao to promote our accommodation, dining, entertainment and other offers. This includes a new recreation promotion, with spa and pool discounts for Macao residents,” said a Sands China spokesperson.

The IR had recently soft-opened the highly anticipated teamLab SuperNature Macao, an immersive interactive world of 3D artwork experiences located within the 5,000sqm Venetian Macao’s Cotai Expo.

Others, like Sociedade de Jogos de Macau (SJM), is targeting families with its ‘Grand Lisboa Hotel x Macau Jockey Club’ tour, which includes visit to both properties and hotel dining vouchers.

Meanwhile, safety and sanitisation practices remain top of mind for all participating travel trade.

“SJM fully supports and strictly adheres to all the measures taken by the government, and maintains close communication with the relevant government departments,” a spokesperson told Travel Weekly Asia.

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