More than 2,300 tour groups have visited Macau while enjoying subsidies offered by the local tourism bureau.
The data relates to tour group visitation up until April 16th.
Speaking to local media, Cheng Wai Tong, deputy director of the Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) said that among the visiting groups was the first batch from overseas, with a total of 14 groups from Thailand and Malaysia arriving in Macau last Saturday (15th).
The subsidy program encompasses just one of the promotional offerings launched after Chinese authorities lifted all travel restrictions to outbound tour groups in February.
The subsidy scheme firstly aims to attract more tourists from mainland China, and later from overseas or Taiwan and encourage them to extend their stay. The subsidy plan offers local travel agencies up to MOP500 ($62) per night per tourist from “international markets”, for tour groups consisting of at least four people. In addition, tours involving visitors from Taiwan can qualify for a subsidy of up to MOP400 ($50) per head, but each tour group must have a minimum of 10 people to be eligible.
This subsidy scheme, which covers tour groups from overseas and Taiwan, follows a similar program that has been in place since January for tour groups from mainland China. The scheme for tour groups from mainland China is set to run until the end of 2023.
The program has been welcomed as desired support for the local tourism industry, which is seeking to revive demand from source markets with direct flights to Macau. The subsidy plan is handled by local travel agents in Macau, who are responsible for the tour itinerary and accommodation in licensed hotels. However, only tours completed between 15 April and 15 July are eligible for the subsidy scheme.
Tour groups from international markets can receive a MOP300 ($37) grant per head for the first night of stay, with a maximum subsidy of MOP500 ($62) per person for tours of two consecutive nights or more. Meanwhile, tour groups from Taiwan can receive a subsidy of MOP250 ($31) per person for the first night of stay, with a maximum subsidy of MOP400 ($50) per person for tours of two consecutive nights or more.
The Macau government is hoping that the subsidy scheme will help to boost tourism to the city, which saw almost 5 million visitor arrivals in the first quarter this year.