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Macau Shopping Festival broadens scope

Macau Shopping Festival, which runs from December 3 to 31, is being broadened this year to include smaller local retailers.

And rather than a grandiose launch like last year’s MOP4 million (US$500,725) opening, there will be a smaller ceremony this time with most of the budget going to promotion with the hope of encouraging tourists to stay longer.

Advertisements for the sixth edition of the festival have been placed on buses, with further promotion through television and booklets, says Macau Association of Retailers & Tourism Services president Frederick Yip. The association is one of the event’s organisers.

He says the festival will help uplift the retail market, which went through a slump in the first half of the year.

Because of the economic downturns, fewer high-end stores have contributed to the latest festival, says Yip. “They still want to support, but cannot help as much as last year.”

Among the organisers for the festival, which has a budget of MOP30 million, are gaming venues such as Galaxy, Melco, Sands China and Wynn.

A total of MOP5.5 million has been budgeted for lucky-draw prizes. Shoppers can participate in lucky draws by buying at least MOP500 of merchandise from festival stores.

Macao Government Tourism Office director Helena de Senna Fernandes is hoping the shopping festival will boost tourist spending.

Meanwhile, details are being finalised for the annual Macau Light Festival, which starts on December 4. It has been extended by a day to end on January 1.

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