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MGTO official outlines to IFTM students Macao’s marketing and tourism recovery strategies amid COVID-19

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

The Head of the Destination Marketing Department at the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), Ms. Betty Fok Wai Lan, recently acted as a guest lecturer at IFTM. Her talk focused on the marketing and tourism recovery strategies being employed by the local authorities to counter the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local travel and hospitality sectors. The event took place on 15 April at the Grand Hall on the Mong-Há Campus.

IFTM Lecturer Dr. Vicky Chen Zhaoyu hosted the guest lecture. It was put on for Year 2 undergraduates attending the course on Principles of Marketing, namely those in the English-language streams of either the Tourism Business Management programme or the Tourism Retail and Marketing Management programme. The event was open to other students, as well as to IFTM faculty members.

Dr. Chen says the session was “useful” in terms of attendees being able to deepen their understanding of the role and responsibilities of MGTO, and how the Office has adapted its marketing work amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The lecture also illustrated to students practical examples of marketing strategies linked to tourism recovery campaigns. Such strategies involved digital marketing and social media, cross-field strategic alliances and tourism-product diversification.

In addition, the talk elaborated on the Macao SAR Government’s ‘Tourism+’ policy, which aims to provide support to the industry in the development of new products associated with tourism. Tourism+ seeks to deepen the integration of tourism with other sectors of the city’s economy, via joint projects between various industries. This is in order to meet the needs of inbound visitors in the fields of tourism, shopping and entertainment.

The lecture equipped students with fresh insights on marketing, helping them to improve their understanding of concepts discussed in the classroom, Dr. Chen says.

Macao’s tourism and hospitality industry has been challenged by COVID-19 due to significant decreases in the number of visitors arriving in the city, amid global travel restrictions to control the spread of the disease. MGTO has been taking action to counter the slump in tourism, introducing a number of measures to restore tourists’ trust in Macao as a healthy, safe and quality destination for travel. The Office’s efforts are currently focused on the Mainland market, as it is for now the only place to have a quarantine-free travel bubble with Macao.

During the guest lecture, Ms. Fok discussed a number of promotional measures by MGTO targeting Mainland consumers, and their effectiveness. She mentioned the “Macao Week” promotional campaigns held recently in Beijing and Hangzhou, which, according to the MGTO official, had been successful in contributing to an uptick in visitor arrivals to Macao.

Ms. Fok said the Office planned to host additional promotional events on the Mainland in the coming months. It would also continue collaborating with online platforms such as those provided by Group and Tencent Holdings, to market attractive tour packages and travel itineraries to Macao.

The session ended with a question-and-answer segment, in which Ms. Fok actively engaged with the audience. The fruitful exchange prompted students to discuss in detail real-world practices linked to tourism marketing.

The hosting of talks and exchange sessions by industry leaders and seasoned officials is part of IFTM’s approach to tourism education. The Institute is committed to providing students with educational opportunities that combine theory and practice in order for them to deepen their knowledge of the tourism and hospitality industry.

President’s Corner

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