Macao residents unsure of tourist tax implementation

 Friday, May 31, 2019 


Macau seemed almost set to impose a tourist tax after they surveyed the people about how proceeds from it should be spent. However, now we are finding out a bit more about the survey, and learning that not everyone might be on board with the idea.


According to a press release on the Macao Government Tourism Office website, Macau’s Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Alexis Tam Chon Weng, held a meeting of the Tourist Development Committee (CDT) to discuss specifically how Macau can go forward while its tourist capacity is stretched to the limit. The Tourist tax, as a means to reduce the number of tourists, was a hot topic.


Several committee members of the CDT expressed worries that a tourist tax wouldn’t help the region. Instead, they proposed an appointment system, where tourists would be required to reserve their spot to visit certain landmarks in the city, thus avoiding a crush of people causing congestion in neighbourhoods that are unable to handle it.


Another anonymous member suggested the committee needed to create short and long term plans to solve this problem, with task forces created to analyse problems and find solutions.


Tam specifically pointed at the Art Macao initiative as a way to help diversify the city’s tourism offering. He also talked about the government’s dedication to studying how other countries handle tourism, citing a visit to Portugal.


Adding to that feasibility study is the recent survey put to citizens about how a tourist tax should be spent. With some members already doubting if a tax would work, and questioning how a tax could even be imposed, it’ll be interesting to see if the CDT even takes those survey results into account.


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