Macau welcomes 1st multiple-round-trip Hengqin-Macau tour group

2024-05-07 03:15
BY Yuki Lei

Mainlanders joining Hengqin-Macau tour groups are now able to make multiple round trips between the two places within seven days using the same group travel permit via the Hengqin checkpoint, and Macau received yesterday its inaugural tour group composed of 16 members embarking on a three-day visit to Macau and Hengqin during which they will enter Macau twice. 

The National Immigration Administration (NIA) announced on April 28 that starting from May 6, i.e., yesterday, mainland Chinese visitors joining Hengqin-Macau tours will be able to make multiple round trips between Hengqin and Macau via the Hengqin checkpoint within seven days using the same group travel permit.  

The group departed from the Hengqin checkpoint at around 10:30 a.m. yesterday and arrived in Macau at 10:45 a.m. The Macau Government Tourism Office and Economic Development Bureau (ECD) of the Guangdong-Macau In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin held their respective welcoming ceremonies yesterday morning at the arrival hall and departure hall of the Macau-mainland joint Hengqin checkpoint, attended by Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, lawmaker-cum-travel agent Cheung Kin Chung and MGTO mascot “Mak Mak” on the Macau side of the checkpoint, as well as ECD Director Li Ziwei and Guangdong-Macau In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin Executive Committee Deputy Director Su Kun on the Hengqin side, among other top-ranking officials and officers from the two sides, as well as representatives of the two places’ tourism sector. 

The members of the inaugural tour are mainly from Guangdong, followed by Hubei, Shaanxi and Shanxi. An MGTO statement noted that their three-day itinerary includes various attractions in Macau and Hengqin, and one-night hotel stays in each place, saying that during their stay in Macau, the group will explore the local neighbourhoods to experience the city’s unique blend of Chinese and Western cultures, and appreciate the coexistence of old and new, taking in the sights and attractions of Macau, including the Historic Centre of Macau which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2005, such as Rua da Felicidade, Cheng Peng Theatre, Taipa Houses and the Village of Our Lady in Ka Ho in Coloane, as well as several integrated resorts (IRs) in Cotai, among others. 

The group visited the sprawling Galaxy Macau resort yesterday. 

Senna Fernandes told the media on the sidelines of the welcoming ceremony that the multiple-entry travel permit was an opportunity for Macau to better integrate itself with the in-depth cooperation zone, adding: “It [one night hotel stay in Macau and another night in Hengqin for a three-day trip] is a new mode, we certainly have to explore new tourism products. I hope that this opportunity will give everyone, especially the tourism sector, more diversified choices in their product design and more choices in terms of which hotels to stay in or how to combine itineraries”, expecting the sector to “be more creative” in integrating Hengqin and Macau’s scenic spots. 

In terms of Macau’s hotel occupancy rate, Senna Fernandes insisted that the new measure would not affect the occupancy rate of hotels in Macau, adding that the increase in budget hotel accommodation in recent years was also competitive thanks to their own characteristics. 

She also said that many local tour guides have obtained their professional qualification to work in Hengqin, expressing her hope that local tour guides would work in both places.  

Sun told reporters during Hengqin’s welcoming ceremony that the multi-entry travel permit policy would further promote the in-depth integration and linked development of tourism, including the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) sector, between Hengqin and Macau, apart from facilitating interaction between tourists from the two places and boosting the development of Macau as a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure, thereby also accelerating the transformation of Hengqin into an International Leisure and Tourism Island.

Meanwhile, Li said that his bureau would make full use of the new policy to actively build the “Macau-Hengqin Joint Tour” brand and the “multi-destination travel” concept, further promote the synergistic development of the Macau-Hengqin cultural and tourism industry and the related industry chain, while boosting the implementation of the “one exhibition in two places” at the same time.  

Members of the first Hengqin-Macau multiple-round-trip tour group wave on their arrival at the Macau-side of the Hengqin checkpoint yesterday morning. – Photo: William Chan


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