Experience Macau with Visa Promotion Launched

Travel News Asia Monday, 28 May 2007

Visa International has launched a program across Asia Pacific to promote international tourism in Macau, which allows overseas Visa cardholders to enjoy a range of benefits when they travel to Macau. The campaign, entitled Experience Macau with Visa, is created to complement the Macau Government Tourist Offices tourism focus on dining, excitement, and luxury.

The campaign, which will run until 30 September 2007, aims to attract visitors to Macau from mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan with a range of special discounts and privileges, instant-win prizes and free gifts when they spend or make cash withdrawals on their Visa cards in Macau. More than 30 of Macaus most prominent merchants are participating in the program.

Visa is pleased to cooperate with the Macau Government Tourist Office for the Experience Macau with Visa program. Macau has developed into a premier vacation destination, said Chris Clark, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Greater China: Hong Kong and Macau, Taiwan and Philippines, Visa International. Tourism spending makes a unique contribution to the Macau market and Visa is committed to boosting Macaus economy by promoting Macau tourism.

Riding on the success of last years promotional program jointly organized by Visa International and MGTO, a five-month program titled Experience Macau with Visa has been launched this year to encourage visitors consumption in Macau, complementing MGTOs current year promotional slogan Experience Macau! said Mr. Joo Manuel Costa Antunes, Director, the Macau Government Tourist Office.

The tourism sector is critical to any economy. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, tourists from around the world spend an average of US$2 billion each day. This amount is expected to reach US$1.4 trillion per year by 2014. Tourism accounts for about 6% of worldwide exports and is the fastest growing sector in terms of foreign exchange earnings and job creation. International payments played a significant role in this growth. Inbound tourism to Asia Pacific alone represents US$121 billion, or 4.3% of the regions gross domestic product.

In 2006, a new record of close to 22 million visitors came to Macau, an increase of 17% compared with 2005. This encouraging trend continued with arrivals exceeding 6,300,000 in the first three months of this year, registering a 21% growth compared to the same period last year. Visitors from Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, the three largest source markets of Macau, increased by 20%, 22% and 1.48% respectively.

Tourists to Macau spent US$402 million on their Visa cards during 2006, up 13% from a year ago. Clearly, tourists are actively using their Visa cards to settle payments in Macau, said James Dixon, Country Manager, Hong Kong and Macau, Visa International. Visa is committed to providing an easy, convenient, and secure travel experience for tourists. A Visa card can help travelers manage their travel expenses, avoid carrying a large amount of cash, and withdraw cash from global ATM machines.

As at 31 December 2006, Visa cardholders from Hong Kong, Taiwan, mainland China, South Korea and the United States were the biggest Visa spenders in Macau, together accounting for 88% of total Visa spend by overseas cardholders. The spend amount by Visa cardholders from Japan and South Korea grew 27% and 53%, respectively. Overseas  cardholders withdrew US$47 million from ATMs and over-the-counter, up 22% from a year earlier.

See other recent news regarding: Visa Card, Macau, Advertising, Marketing

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