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Published on : Friday, February 5, 2016
The Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government Dr. Alexis Tam has led a delegation to Japan to mark Macao’s first-time participation in the Sapporo Snow Festival, as one of the guests to officiate the event inauguration tomorrow (5 February). Macao is a feature destination at this year’s edition of the Sapporo Snow Festival, showcasing a snow sculpture of the Ruins of St. Paul’s at the center of the event with video mapping projections about Macao. A Macao Café will greet visitors with the warmth of drinks and delicacies in the same area, alongside an exhibition of photographs by a Macao artist based in Hokkaido; besides the above highlights, a team from Macau Culinary Association has also been invited to join the International Snow Sculpture Contest as well, etc. Taking this valuable opportunity, Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) brings on a spectacular promotion filled with colorful new dimensions to present the enchanting destination in snowy beauty to an estimated number of nearly two million Japanese residents and international visitors in the Sapporo Snow Festival. Through participation in this prestigious international event, MGTO strives to carry out effective promotion of destination image and attract more international visitations to Macao.
Prestigious event attracts over two million visitors
Jointly organized by the City of Sapporo, Sapporo Tourist Association, Sapporo Board of Education and Sapporo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the 67th Sapporo Snow Festival is held in Sapporo, Hokkaido from 5 – 11 February. The event is a popular winter festival that attracts every year over two million visitors from home and abroad, and a wide media coverage from across the world. The Festival features over 200 snow and ice sculptures on display across three sites this year. Spanning over 1.5 kilometers long, 1 chome to 12 chome of Odori Park is transformed into a snow and ice fairyland as Odori Site, the major showcase venue in the Festival.
The opening ceremony of the Sapporo Snow Festival will be held on the HBC Macao Square, located at 7 chome, the heart of Odori Site tomorrow (5 February), with the giant snow sculpture of the Ruins of St Paul’s as the key backdrop. Secretary Tam has been invited to officiate the opening together with other guests.
Macao debuts in Sapporo Snow Festival as a feature destination
Macao makes its debut in the Sapporo Snow Festival this year as a feature destination and proudly presents the giant snow sculpture of the Ruins of St. Paul’s on the HBC Macao Square at the centre of Odori Site. Hokkaido Broadcasting Company (HBC) is the first broadcasting company founded in Hokkaido. Since 1975, the company has completed various snow sculpture projects in partnership with different countries and regions; together naming the center venue of the event, HBC undertakes the project planning for various snow sculptures themed as major attractions of the partner regions as well. Besides, HBC would widely promote the projects and its partner regions on its broadcasting channels. This year, the Ruins of St. Paul’s in snow is set to come into the spotlight in the event, a prime opportunity to effectively present Macao’s image as a city of culture and events to Japanese residents and international visitors.
Secretary Tam receives the snow sculpture of the Ruins of St. Paul’s
The traditional handover ceremony of snow statue was held this morning (4 February) at the HBC Macao Square. On behalf of Macao, Secretary Tam received the giant snow sculpture of the Ruins of St. Paul’s that measures 17 meters high and two-thirds the original size of the historic façade. The magnificent artwork will come on display at the 67th Sapporo Snow Festival, running 5 to 11 February in Hokkaido, inviting visitors from around the world to come and experience Macao.
The handover ceremony was attended by Sapporo City Mayor, Katsuhiro Akimoto; Chairman of the Sapporo Snow Festival Executive Committee, Hisao Hoshino; President of Hokkaido Broadcasting Company, Takashi Watanabe and Commander of Northern Army Signal Group of Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, Kazuhiro Oka. Coming from Macao, Chief of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Ip Peng Kin, MGTO Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Advisor of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Charles Lam and Head of Destination Marketing Department of MGTO, Betty Fok, were present in the ceremony among others.
Promotion at Snow Festival draws event lovers to Macao
During the handover ceremony, Secretary Tam said that the Ruins of St Paul’s and the World Heritage “Historic Centre of Macao” is a magnet for visitors travelling to Macao. He hoped to echo the successful experience of Macao Light Festival and showcase Macao in a spectacular way at the Sapporo Snow Festival, to match this outstanding winter event.
Secretary Tam is confident that the Macao promotion at the Sapporo Snow Festival will reach a new milestone in Macao SAR government’s efforts in promoting event tourism to invite more Japanese residents and international visitors who are event enthusiasts to Macao.
He added that Macao has experienced remarkable developments as a tourism destination over the past period. Not only new integrated resorts have opened, but the heritage and events have also been revamped and enhanced. The SAR Government’s continuous efforts in enhancing Macao as a tourism destination with the goal to transform the city into a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure have been recognized with many awards and rankings internationally.
Secretary Tam pointed out that Macao ranked first among Asian destinations Japanese visitors would like to visit most in 2016, according to a social media trend research conducted by the top travel agency H.I.S. in Japan. He expressed gratitude to Japanese visitors for their love for Macao, and agreed that the research finding has recognized Macao’s destination glamour. He remarked that Japan, likewise, is one of Macao residents’ favorite destinations to visit.
During the handover ceremony, Sapporo City Mayor, Katsuhiro Akimoto, remarked that the snow statue of the Ruins of St Paul’s will foster international exchange as well as friendship between Macao and Japan as a bridge.