Macao Tourism is aiming to win the hearts and minds of more Aussie travellers – and they’re planning to do it through our stomachs.
A year-long campaign is underway to promote and celebrate ‘Macao 2018 Year of Gastronomy’, with monthly events scheduled to showcase Macanese food, one of the world’s earliest forms of fusion cuisine.
As part of the promotion, a food truck has been brought to Australia, offering locals a taste of some traditional dishes.
“We pride ourselves on our food and we love our food so we don’t mind using food as a way to attract visitors to come because we want to share it with everyone,” said Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director of Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO).
Macao welcomed just over 90,000 Aussies last year, part of an inbound total of 32 million visitors, mainly from China. Tourism officials are now working to convince travellers there is more to Macao than just casinos.
“We are trying to get more Australian people to visit Macao. This is a place where we can work further,” added Ms Fernandes (pictured above).
“We want people to stay longer and we have to give them more reasons to come and to come at different times of the year, rather than in peak periods.”
Responding to a question from Traveltalk on just how the MGTO would target the Australian market, Ms Fernandes said they would be working closely with travel agents in both the high street and online spaces, and through the use of social media.
“It’s really about giving people the possibility to buy packages or even book trips themselves to Macao, so we have to get the product available.
“We have to give people reasons to go so that’s why we run events every month, so you can pick the right time to go to Macau. It’s about getting the right product and making it easy for people to book Macao.”
The Macao Eat Art Truck will be at Sydney’s Central Station today (Friday, April 20) before heading to Chatswood (Saturday, April 21) and Manly Wharf (Sunday, April 22). Award-winning chef Julian Cincotta will be behind the grill, preparing a trio of free dishes, including pork chop buns, African chicken and Portuguese egg tarts.
“Not only does Macao have an impressive list of Michelin-star restaurants, the Asian centre is renowned for its street food, and this will be a perfect way for Sydneysiders to sample such cuisine,” said Helen Wong, General Manager of MGTO (Australia and NZ).