A study about the idea of a tourist tax in Macau suggests that – were it to happen – the amount should be set at between MOP100 (US$12.50) and MOP200 per head, said Hoi Io Meng, the deputy director of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO).
Mr Hoi was speaking on Wednesday to local media, giving a brief update on the study’s content. The work was conducted last year by MGTO. The official noted in the latest commentary that the study had already been submitted to the Macau government for consideration.
The study was based on a survey launched in May 2019 on the potential introduction of a tourist tax to the city. The public opinion poll – that ran from May 20 to June 20 – included case analysis and questionnaire exercises conducted respectively among Macau residents, visitors to the city and members of the travel trade.
In previous commentary to reporters, Mr Hoi had said that responses collected via the survey were divided on the topic and the work had not indicated any clear-cut support for introducing a tourist tax in Macau.
MGTO director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes had previously mentioned that the body would “by the fourth quarter” last year complete the study on the feasibility of imposing a tourist tax in the city. The official said at the time that the possible introduction of such tax required “prudent consideration” from the authorities.
In his Wednesday remarks, Mr Hoi said the Macau government would assess the report produced by MGTO as part of its decision-making on whether to introduce a tourist tax.
The idea of such a tax was aimed at tackling issues relating to the city’s tourism “capacity”, government officials had stated at the time the survey was launched.
Macau has a land area of only 32.9 square kilometres (12.7 sq miles) according to the city’s Statistics and Census Bureau. The city received more than 39.4 million tourists in 2019, a nearly 10-percent rise on the 35.8-million visitor arrivals recorded in 2018, according to official data.
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