Published on : Thursday, January 5, 2017
Following the feasibility study on family hostels in 2014, MGTO commissioned a research institute last year to carry out a tracking study on family hostels from 28 July to 29 August 2016 to learn more about residents’ latest stance on opening of family hostels in Macao. The findings of the tracking study indicate that with scattered opinions, the society has not reached a thorough consensus on operation of family hostels in local communities. In the future, MGTO will stay tuned to social changes and continually pay attention to the development of the issue.
In the tracking study, data were collected through online questionnaires and a face-to-face survey conducted in various districts across Macao, targeting residents at age of 18 or above and living in Macao for the previous 12 months. A total of 2,146 responses were collected through the face-to-face survey and online questionnaires, including 2,102 and 44 responses respectively.
The latest study reveals a lower degree of concern and support
The degree of concern and support from the surveyed residents towards the idea of family hostels both declined in 2016. The proportion of respondents who had heard about the topic of family hostels dropped from 58% in 2014 to 55% in 2016. The proportion of supporters among respondents also decreased slightly from over 62% in 2014 to 61% in 2016. On the other hand, the proportion of neutral responses went up from 42% in 2014 to 84% in 2016.
Criteria for opening family hostels and forms of development
In terms of criteria for opening family hostels and forms of development, the proportion of neutral responses went up from the last survey, mirroring the downturn in the degree of public concern nowadays compared with two years ago.
With regard to land use, respondents expressed a relatively low degree of support towards the idea of allowing “reconstruction of urban lands or premises designated for residential purposes” and use of “urban lands or premises designated for non-hotel purposes” for establishment of family hostels in both studies. Less than half of the surveyed residents (48% in 2014 and 42% in 2016) agreed that family hostels can be built in reconstructed residential premises or upon urban lands designated for residential purposes, suggesting the general concern about change of land use.
Opting for development in other neighborhoods
In terms of family hostel development in one’s own neighborhood, the tracking study in 2016 shows that only the respondents living in Taipa and the Cathedral Parish preferred family hostels to be opened in their own neighborhoods, though merely 60% of them supported the idea. In 2014, only the respondents living in the Cathedral Parish and Coloane preferred family hostels to run in their own neighborhoods. In summary, both studies reveal that residents tended to choose other neighborhoods rather than their own as locations for family hostels. In other words, it has not yet become a mainstream in the society to support development of family hostels in one’s own neighborhood. Respondents in general were concerned about different issues such as public safety, environmental hygiene, traffic conditions and so on.
In summary of both studies, around 60% of the surveyed residents favored the idea of family hostels as revealed by both public opinion surveys. However, the tracking study indicates a slight decline in the degree of support as well as a lower level of concern towards the topic of family hostels. Similar to the situation in 2014, respondents in the tracking study expressed that more details should be taken into consideration before enforcing the idea of family hostels. In comparison with the particulars of the study in 2014, the tracking study in 2016 indicates that residents laid more stress on the necessity of governmental regulation (28% in 2014 and 41% in 2016), followed by the importance of governmental planning before family hostel development (32% in 2014 and 22% in 2016). The results of the tracking study suggest that it has not yet become a mainstream in the society for residents to support development of family hostels in their own neighborhoods.