The majority of opinions in a survey about the introduction of a tourist tax in Macau suggested that the amount should be set at over MOP100 (US$12.43), said the deputy director of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Hoi Io Meng.
Mr Hoi was speaking on Sunday to local media regarding the preliminary findings of a survey launched in May 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.
Speaking to reporters, Mr Hoi said MGTO had received more than 12,000 opinions from Macau residents; an aggregate of 1,500 opinions from tourists and approximately 150 comments from travel trade members.
MGTO’s deputy director noted however that opinions were divided and there was no clear support for imposing of a tourist tax in Macau.
Were a tourist tax to be introduced, Mr Hoi said the tourism office would eventually suggest a price range after completing a study on the topic “within this year”. MGTO director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes had previously mentioned that the comments collected via the public opinion poll would “become a significant consideration” in the government’s study.
“Our analysis is basically on two aspects: one is based on the opinions expressed by residents, tourists and the [travel] sector on how much it [the tourist tax] should be. Another aspect is to look at how much the other travel destinations charge regarding this tax,” Mr Hoi told the media.
The idea of a tourist tax in Macau was to tackle issues relating to the city’s tourism capacity, Macau’s Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Alexis Tam Chon Weng had mentioned at a Tourism Development Committee meeting in late May.
Macau was on course for more than 38 million tourists this year, MGTO’s Ms Senna Fernandes said earlier this year. The city received more than 35.8 million visitors in 2018.
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