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Macao crowned APAVT’s preferred global hotspot, sparks visitor market surge

Sunday, December 3, 2023

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The Portuguese Association of Travel and Tourism Agencies (APAVT) has declared Macao as its “APAVT Preferred International Destination” for the year 2024. This designation, along with related initiatives, aims to enhance Macao’s visibility among the Portuguese travel trade and travelers, contributing to the expansion of the city’s international visitor source markets.

A delegation from the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), led by Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, traveled to Portugal to participate in the APAVT National Congress. Their objective was to promote Macao and lay the groundwork for hosting the 50th edition of the event in 2025.

During the 48th National Congress in Porto on December 1, APAVT officially announced Macao as its “Preferred International Destination in 2024.” Maria Helena Senna Fernandes expressed gratitude for the designation, emphasizing the opportunity to broaden visitor source markets in Europe. She sees this as a continuation of efforts to rejuvenate visitor flows from Portugal, setting the stage for the success of the 2025 APAVT National Congress in Macao.

Pedro Costa Ferreira, President of APAVT, expressed delight at the prospect of returning to Macao, highlighting its uniqueness as a destination that embodies cultural coexistence and shared history. He anticipates increased travel flows between Portugal and Macao, as well as with China in general.

To amplify the promotion of “Macao – APAVT Preferred International Destination,” APAVT will feature it prominently at the Lisbon Travel Market (BTL) scheduled for February 28 to March 3. MGTO will collaborate with APAVT at BTL to showcase Macao’s diverse tourism offerings.

In an effort to boost the launch of tourism products to Macao, MGTO and APAVT will introduce a new e-learning program at BTL. This program will target travel agents, equipping them with in-depth knowledge about Macao’s flights, hotels, events, gastronomy, culture, history, and other relevant destination content.

Throughout 2024, APAVT plans to integrate “Macao – APAVT Preferred International Destination” into its communications, including the website, promotional materials, and events. This strategic promotion aims to elevate Macao’s image among APAVT’s members and partners.

In preparation for the APAVT National Congress in 2025, MGTO initiated promotional efforts earlier in the year with the “Experience Macao – Macao Promotion in Lisbon” event in April. Subsequently, a delegation from APAVT attended the 11th Macao International Travel (Industry) Expo, where it was announced that the national congress in 2025 would be hosted in Macao.

APAVT, as the most representative association in the Portuguese tourism industry, considers its national congress a pivotal annual gathering. Macao will host the congress for the sixth time in four decades, providing Portuguese tourism stakeholders with a firsthand experience of Macao’s dynamic development as a global center for tourism and leisure post-pandemic. This initiative aims to strengthen tourism relations and foster greater cooperation between Portugal and Macao in the travel trade sector.

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