Published on : Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) announced the result of the community opinion poll regarding the new add-on walking tour routes under the theme “Step Out, Experience Macau’s Communities” today (24 September). Interviewees indicated an above-average degree of support towards the proposed new walking tour routes.
The poll was conducted through five channels to collect feedback and opinion among local residents, businesses and visitors regarding the new routes. Many valuable suggestions are worth being taken into consideration as supporting reference when the Office adjusts and optimizes the project in the future.
MGTO held a Briefing Session on the Community Opinion Poll Result for “Step Out, Experience Macau’s Communities” New Add-On Walking Tour Routes today (24 September). MGTO Deputy Director Cheng Wai Tong attended the session together with the representatives of Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau; Cultural Affairs Bureau; Transport Bureau as well as Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau. During the session, Deputy Director Cheng presented the result of the poll.
Five channels to collect public opinions
After hosting a series of six explanation sessions, MGTO commissioned a private research institute to conduct a community opinion poll in May and June to attend the concerns and feedback of citizens and businesses. The poll was conducted through five channels, including 1) street survey; 2) online questionnaire; 3) collection of social opinion; 4) search on the Internet and 5) Leisure Café, to gather feedback and opinion from local residents, businesses and visitors regarding the proposed new tour routes.
The assigned research institute conducted a series of street surveys in the parishes which encompass the MGTO-proposed new routes. The survey interviewees are residents and businesses along the tour routes. The surveyors had 1,257 valid questionnaires completed through interview in person. Among the questionnaires, 905 were filled by residents whereas 352 came from business owners.
The result of street surveys shows that the overall degree of support towards the new walking routes among all the interviewees is indicated as 6.71 (0 – 10), which is above the intermediate level; the interviewees’ level of concern is 5.28 (0 – 10); the degree of awareness about MGTO-proposed new walking routes is 29.6% (out of 100%); the level of acceptability for the concept of “Parish” adopted in the new tour routes, major road indication as well as recommendation of nearby attractions is 6.6 (0 – 10).
The new routes suggested by MGTO are located at four parishes including Parish of the Nossa Senhora de Fátima, Parish of the Santo António, Parish of the Nossa Senhora do Carmo and Parish of the São Francisco Xavier. The survey shows that all four parishes show an above-average level of acceptability towards the new add-on tour routes, all indicating a level higher than 3 points (1 – 5). Moreover, the interviewees expressed a similar point of view regarding the potential influence of the new routes in different parishes. They believed the new tour routes will have a positive effect upon the parishes’ economy and community culture, but at the same time worried that the new routes may worsen the problem of traffic congestion among other issues. On the other hand, 37% of interviewees raised practical suggestions mainly about ways to improve the supporting transportation system and public/tourism facilities.
Local residents, business owners and visitors can fill in the online questionnaire anonymously. The Office received 295 valid questionnaires in total. The degree of support for the new walking routes among online interviewees is 8.33 (0 – 10); their degree of concern is 7.91 (0 – 10); the level of acceptability for the concept of “Parish” adopted in the new tour routes, major road indication as well as recommendation of nearby attractions is 8.16 (0 – 10). Similarly, the online interviewees believed that the new tour routes will create a positive effect upon the parishes’ economy and community culture, whereas close to 50% of interviewees gave practical suggestions about optimizing the supporting transportation system and public/tourism facilities.
Collection of social opinion
MGTO organized six explanation sessions about community opinion poll in May to collect suggestions from Tourism Development Committee, citizens, businesses and media. A total of 29 suggestion forms were received, including 77 practical suggestions. Those suggestions regarding the four new walking routes are mainly about training of tour route guides, enhancement of Macau residents’ awareness about local tourism attractions, improvement on facilities along the routes (public restroom/transportation/signage), more effective promotion strategies and results of efforts to divert visitor from more populated tourist areas, etc.
Search on the Internet
The Office collected news and critic articles reported by traditional media and from online forums and social networks about the new add-on walking routes, which comprise a total of 93 traditional news reports with 15 critic articles included, 162 posts on online forums and 24 posts on social networks. Traditional media, online forums and social networks expressed similar concerns which focus on the four new walking routes proposed by the Government, including the extension of Community Tourism Project (launching four new routes), recommendation of tourism attractions nearby, indication of main roads and the concept of “Parish” adopted in the new routes, etc. They also expressed different opinions ranging from fear that the new four routes may lead to higher rent for businesses, hope for less influence upon citizens’ life to improvement of facilities along the walking routes, etc.
The project of Leisure Café has invited MGTO’s market representatives from around the world, dividing them into groups to stroll along the proposed new tour routes and have a leisure discussion in restaurants along the routes. Through the above activity, the project collected points of views from the market representatives.
The representatives enjoyed the sightseeing walk in general and expressed that walking is a great way to see the beauty of real life in Macau. Ice-cream venders, local cafés, unique cuisines, village aroma, nostalgic lanes, architecture that combines Chinese and Portuguese style, temples of various functions in Macau’s local communities – all these dynamic local elements have molded the city’s real and colorful dimensions distinct from solely the gaming industry.
As both visitors and tourism marketing professional, the representatives mainly suggested the following regarding the new tour routes: improvement of tourism signage and elaborate introduction of attractions, refine public and supporting facilities, transportation facilitation measures and so forth.
The representatives generally agreed that these new tour routes are worth promoting in the markets, offering alternative tour routes under the strategy to diversify tourism products, the routes can be recommended especially to individual visitors and those who visit Macau again or stay for a longer period.