The rise of mini vacations and Insta-holidays

How to resonate with new-age travellers who are looking out for Insta-worthy, experiential travel moments.

Travellers are scooting off on more frequent ‘mini-vacations’ to recharge and satisfy their wanderlust. (Credit: leungchopan/Getty Images)

Travellers are scooting off on more frequent ‘mini-vacations’ to recharge and satisfy their wanderlust. (Credit: leungchopan/Getty Images)

Travellers are scooting off on more frequent ‘mini-vacations’ to recharge and satisfy their wanderlust. (Credit: leungchopan/Getty Images)

Travellers are going on shorter but more frequent trips these days. Unlike lengthy vacations, which typically involve a draining planning process, mini breaks can be taken on a whim – providing a much-needed opportunity to decompress, recharge and satisfy one’s wanderlust.

In fact, this trend is already apparent among Asian family travellers, who are taking more than double the number of trips – an average of five compared to two yearly – as compared to their western counterparts, according to a 2018 survey by YouGov.

The 55-kilometre Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau (HZMB) bridge puts Macau within even closer reach for travellers.

The 55-kilometre Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau (HZMB) bridge puts Macau within even closer reach for travellers.

The 55-kilometre Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau (HZMB) bridge puts Macau within even closer reach for travellers.

Already a popular destination for day-trippers, Macau is set to become even more sought-after with the opening of the new Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau (HZMB) bridge. The 55-kilometre crossing puts the city within close reach from neighbouring aviation hubs like Hong Kong, now a 45-minute drive away, allowing tourists to visit frequently with ease.

More importantly, the former Portuguese enclave offers myriad attractions, entertainment and culinary choices, making it a great destination to recommend to your clients. It is also easy to design all-inclusive travel packages (with private-hire coaches and car and accommodation) built around niche and punchy themes that help travellers make the most of their short breaks.





Awe-inspiring festivals

Festivals such as the Macao International Parade are enlivening destinations and becoming a key draw for memorable and photo-worthy experiences. (Credit: Leong Im Kai)

Festivals such as the Macao International Parade are enlivening destinations and becoming a key draw for memorable and photo-worthy experiences. (Credit: Leong Im Kai)

Festivals such as the Macao International Parade are enlivening destinations and becoming a key draw for memorable and photo-worthy experiences. (Credit: Leong Im Kai)

Festivals and events are increasingly popular tools for destination marketing as they provide many eye-catching moments that travellers are looking for when documenting their holiday experiences. This trend, also known as ‘Instagram tourism’, is increasingly becoming a main interest especially among millennials who seek out good visual stories to highlight on their social media pages.

A good place to start is Art Macao – one of Macau’s largest international festival series that is set to take place this year. From painting, history, sculpture, music to theatre, travellers will have plenty of opportunities to capture the visual feast during the five-month-long festival extravaganza.
Agents can think about crafting a specialised experience around the festival to turn a one-off festival-goer into a loyal, long-term client.

Outdoor public spaces, hotels and art galleries will also offer numerous free art installations, suitable for travellers with a budding interest in art and art connoisseurs alike.

From April till September, more than 30 different events will be held. For instance, a diverse range of iconic paintings will arrive on Macau’s shores in April, from the periods of Italian Renaissance to China’s Western Xin Dynasty.

Attractions that tell a story

Take a stroll to the majestic ruins of St. Paul Church. (Credit: Ingus Kruklitis/Getty Images)

Take a stroll to the majestic ruins of St. Paul Church. (Credit: Ingus Kruklitis/Getty Images)

Take a stroll to the majestic ruins of St. Paul Church. (Credit: Ingus Kruklitis/Getty Images)

Walking tourism is becoming more popular among seasoned travellers who crave a deeper engagement with destinations by uncovering interesting back-stories and localised settings. These experiences often make for great Instagram story videos that in turn will deepen positive memories of the trip as well as serve as a ready-made promotional tool of Macau.

Thanks to careful heritage preservation, Macau’s unique combination of Portuguese-Chinese culture remains a valuable trove of sights and stories for travellers, from key historic attractions such as the ruins of St. Paul and Senado Square to alternative sights, including tea tasting at local tea houses, local craftsmen and charming traditional neighbourhoods.

Appeal to traveller’s sense of discovery by building hands-on craft activities such as leather-making with local Macanese artisan Re-Elements into your itineraries. There, travellers can learn from its chief craftsmen how to make items such as wallets, passport and cardholders, which serve as one-of-a-kind memorabilia of their time in Macau.

Feast for the senses

Colourful street food and exquisitely plated fine dining are the stars of many Instagram posts today, reflecting the popularity of food as a source of inspiration for beautifully curated social media pages and unique travel itineraries.

Bring travellers to hole-in-the-wall eateries serving famed delicacies like tofu fa, a traditional dessert of soy beancurd pudding. (Credit: Naomi Neoh)

Bring travellers to hole-in-the-wall eateries serving famed delicacies like tofu fa, a traditional dessert of soy beancurd pudding. (Credit: Naomi Neoh)

Bring travellers to hole-in-the-wall eateries serving famed delicacies like tofu fa, a traditional dessert of soy beancurd pudding. (Credit: Naomi Neoh)

All within walking distance in Macau is a power-packed combination of authentic street hawkers, family-run eateries and Michelin dining restaurants, making the destination a dream for travel agents to market to a range of palates and tastes. Agents who can create walking tours that take travellers to hole-in-the-wall eateries and local joints serving popular street eats from Portuguese egg tarts to tofu fa (a traditional dessert of soy beancurd pudding) will stand to win the loyalty and trust of travellers.

Fashion forward

Macau’s quirkier side emerges in its growing fashion and design scene, such as the Macao Fashion Gallery. (Credit: Macao Fashion Gallery)

Macau’s quirkier side emerges in its growing fashion and design scene, such as the Macao Fashion Gallery. (Credit: Macao Fashion Gallery)

Macau’s quirkier side emerges in its growing fashion and design scene, such as the Macao Fashion Gallery. (Credit: Macao Fashion Gallery)

A developing independent fashion and design scene led by a new generation of Macanese is showing a quirkier side of Macau, offering agents the chance to design a travel itinerary dotted with one-of-a-kind retail experiences with local artisans and activities for travellers.

These include the Macao Fashion Gallery, great for scouting the creations of young, up-and-coming local designers; furniture maker Zawood; Obèse Plein, a fashion label run by Chicago-trained Macanese designer Robert Lai; and leather goods and knickknacks store En Masse.

The bustling evening scene at Senado Square, a part of the UNESCO Historic Centre of Macau World Heritage Site. (Credit: Kit_Leong/Getty Images) 

The bustling evening scene at Senado Square, a part of the UNESCO Historic Centre of Macau World Heritage Site. (Credit: Kit_Leong/Getty Images) 

The bustling evening scene at Senado Square, a part of the UNESCO Historic Centre of Macau World Heritage Site. (Credit: Kit_Leong/Getty Images) 

Offering a balance of local and global, heritage and trendy offerings, from art and culture to history and food, Macau makes a compelling and compact destination that is set to ride another tourism boom. With the opening of the HZMB bridge, the improved accessibility opens the door wider for tourism, enabling travel agents to cater to the increased travel with impactful itineraries that capture new-age travellers.

This article is brought to you by Macao Government Tourism Office.