The Director of Macau Government Tourist Office has proposed that the number of international tourist arrivals in 2024 is estimated to be 3 million, which is the same as that of 2019. To address this issue, Prof. Glenn McCartney, Associate Dean (Curriculum & Teaching) of the Faculty of Business Administration and Associate Professor of the Department of Integrated Resort and Tourism Management, was recently interviewed by「Ponto Final」. In the interview, he believes that in order to achieve the target of 3 million international tourists, the most urgent task is to “upgrade” the city and its infrastructures such as transportation, hotels, and an efficient workforce, so as to provide tourists with a satisfactory overall experience.

Prof. Glenn McCartney pointed out that the figure of 3 million international tourists refers to the number of arrivals in Macau and does not represent the actual number of visitors. To achieve this target, various factors need to be taken into account, such as the number of flights and the estimated number of visitors from different countries, which are key performance indicators (KPIs). This data can be used to help formulate strategies such as working with concessionaires and actively promoting Macau in international events.

Prof. Glenn McCartney also emphasized that improving the visitor experience is key to achieving the goal. Positive visitor experiences can motivate them to share good reviews of Macau on social media, further attracting more visitors. There is also room for improvement in terms of infrastructure, especially in terms of transportation and hotels, and better services should be provided to meet the needs of tourists, which is an obstacle that the MICE industry needs to overcome in order to attract international tourists. In addition, Prof. Glenn McCartney believes that while it is important to prioritize the local workforce and invest in upgrading their skills, it is also important to bring in expatriate workers with specific skills in order to promote the modernization and development of Macau.

In the academic field, Prof. Glenn McCartney has also noticed a change. There are more and more foreign students in Macau after the epidemic. As a culturally diverse place, Macau is attractive to students who want to learn about China and Asia. In addition, Macau’s relationship with the Portuguese-speaking countries provides an opportunity to attract students from these countries. Prof. Glenn McCartney mentioned that MGTO has been actively participating in international travel shows and roadshows to promote international tourism. As academics, the professors of the Department of Integrated Resort and Tourism Management are also actively participating in conferences, research and forums in response to changes in the market. He said, “We travel to different parts of the world for different reasons, but we are all contributing to the development of Macau”.