The Portuguese Association of Travel and Tourism Agencies (APAVT, from its Portuguese acronym) announced that Macao will be the “APAVT Preferred International Destination” in the year of 2024, with the designation and related initiatives set to increase the destination’s visibility among the Portuguese travel trade and travelers, thus helping expand the city’s international visitor source markets.
A Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) delegation, headed by Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, travelled to Portugal to attend this year’s APAVT National Congress and promote the destination, in preparation to host in 2025 in Macao the 50th edition of the event.
APAVT announced yesterday (December 1) the designation of Macao as its “Preferred International Destination in 2024” at its 48th National Congress being held in Porto. This comes after having already announced in the middle of the year that its congress in 2025 will be in Macao.
Maria Helena Senna Fernandes thanked APAVT for the designation, remarking: “The designation of “Preferred International Destination in 2024” presents an excellent opportunity for Macao to expand visitor source markets in Europe and continue with the work we started this year to relaunch visitor flows from Portugal, paving the way for the success of the National Congress of APAVT in 2025 in Macao.”
The President of APAVT, Pedro Costa Ferreira, pointed out: “We could not be more pleased to be returning to Macao, a unique destination, standing as an example of coexistence of cultures and shared history. It will certainly be an opportunity to increase travel flows between Portugal and Macao in particular, and with China in general.”
Macao destination promotion highlighted at Lisbon Travel Market
APAVT will especially highlight “Macao – APAVT Preferred International Destination” at next year’s Lisbon Travel Market (BTL, from its Portuguese acronym), running February 28 to March 3. MGTO will also join APAVT’s pavilion at BTL to promote Macao’s diverse “tourism +” offerings at Portugal’s main tourism fair.
Train “Macao experts” to boost launch of tourism products to the city
During next year’s BTL, MGTO and APAVT will launch a new e-learning program targeting travel agents, to train “Macao experts” in knowledge about flights, hotels, events, gastronomy, culture, history and other relevant destination content, to encourage travel trade to sell more Macao tourism products to Portuguese travelers.
Throughout the year of 2024, APAVT will also promote “Macao – APAVT Preferred International Destination” on its communications, including website, promotional materials and events, helping to continue to raise the image of Macao among the association’s members and partners.
Preparing for the National Congress of APAVT 2025 in Macao
MGTO launched earlier this year the promotional work to restart the Portuguese market with the “Experience Macao – Macao Promotion in Lisbon” conducted in April. Afterwards, it organized a familiarization trip for a delegation of travel trade and media lead by APAVT to the 11th Macao International Travel (Industry) Expo, where the association announced that its national congress in 2025 will be held in Macao.
APAVT is the most representative association of the Portuguese tourism industry, with its national congress considered the main annual gathering of the Portuguese tourism industry, attracting hundreds of delegates each year. It will be the sixth time Macao hosts the congress in four decades, the last time being in 2017. The congress in 2025 will provide Portuguese tourism stakeholders a firsthand experience of the new dynamic development of Macao as a world centre of tourism and leisure after the pandemic, continuing to boost tourism relations and enhancing travel trade cooperation between Portugal and Macao.