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Livestreams. Splashy short-videos. Mega KOLs. Over the past six months, Macau’s tourism department has harnessed all of China’s hottest marketing trends to entice Mainland tourists. Now, it’s launched an official store on Ctrip, China’s biggest online travel platform. 

What is Macau’s travel status?

Macau has been open to Mainland visitors since August last year with Chinese tourists typically making up 90 percent of the city’s visitors. Macau welcomed nearly 4 million visitors in H1 2021, a 20 percent improvement from last year, but a far cry from the 28 million it welcomed in 2019. 

What happened? 

In June, Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) partnered with Ctrip to launch its first official flagship store on the Star Hub channel, Ctrip’s new travel marketing hub. Designed to allow partners to expand their marketing influence, the online store platforms promotional content (text, images, videos) and acts as a one-stop shop for all travel needs from ticket and hotel bookings, to travel guides and restaurant recommendations.

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Macao Government Tourism Office’s flagship store on Ctrip’s Star Hub channel. Image: Ctrip

How is Macau using Ctrip?

As the only quarantine-free “outbound” destination for Mainland tourists, Macau is striving to remain top-of-mind amid fierce domestic competition. Livestreaming and short-video are playing a prominent role in this push. Last year, MGTO collaborated with Ctrip co-founder and erstwhile livestream performer James Liang to host a broadcast — it reached nearly 6 million and sold $65 million in travel packages.

Since its launch, MGTO has published 18 high-quality posts promoting its travel products and the coming months (Delta variant permitting) will see it use the platform to release new tourism products, host hybrid promotional events, and keep Mainlanders informed.

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How is Macau performing on Ctrip?  

So far, it’s amassed nearly 33,000 followers and its posts have 290,000 views. For example, a 30-second video promoting Macao International Art Biennale 2021 received 9,000 likes and 500 comments on the platform, and a list of dim sum restaurant recommendations was also welcomed by followers with 11,000 likes and 1,500 comments.

Ctrip reported Macau product bookings and searches have recovered to 66 percent of 2019 levels with demand highest among post-‘90 and post-‘00 travellers. 

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MGTO’s video content has so far attracted some 33,000 followers. Image: MGTO

What Ctrip said

“Due to the pandemic, the tourism industry is undergoing huge changes. Consumers have adopted new habits of purchasing travel packages and accessing travel content online” — Chen Guan, Sales Department Manager, Ctrip

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