Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac said on Tuesday he hopes that gaming operators’ new resorts in Cotai will extend visitors’ stay.
According to official statistics, visitors’ average length of stay stood at just 1.4 nights in March, a figure which has remained virtually unchanged for decades.
Leong spoke to reporters on the sidelines of new Statistics and Census Bureau (DSEC) Director Paul Ieong Meng Chao’s swearing-in ceremony.
Leong was asked by reporters to comment about the continuing dip in Macau’s gaming revenues.
The policy secretary said the decline was due to the fact that more mainlanders opt to travel abroad rather than visit Macau, adding that once new projects such as hotels and resorts begin operations, he hopes that longer-staying visitors will be drawn to the non-gaming elements in the new venues.
“Gaming operators’ new projects increase their attractiveness and visitors’ desire to stay here for a day or two longer,” said Leong, adding, “I hope with these new venues, they will feel that it is worth staying in Macau for four to five days.”
Asked whether the second phase of Galaxy will include an additional 150 gaming tables, Leong replied the government was still looking into the matter and nothing had been finalised.
The secretary said the government was encouraging gaming operators to work with local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing their businesses. He said the government would look into these factors to determine how the gaming industry will grow, while the government would also consider these factors when reviewing the six gaming operators’ concessions or sub-concessions.
“To a certain extent, it shows how these operators engage in social responsibility,” he said.
Leong added that the government was also looking into factors such as whether or not the gaming operators have fulfilled the conditions laid out in their concessions or sub-concessions, and whether their development is in line with the objective of transforming Macau into a world tourism and leisure centre.
“We will announce the results of our review of the gaming concessions [and sub-concessions] once they are done and the operators will know what to do to meet our requirements,” he said.
The three concessions and three sub-concessions expire between 2020 and 2022. (macaunews/macaupost)