Central People’s Government Liaison Office Director Li Gang said on Monday that after rapid growth in the past decade the local gaming industry has entered a phase of mid-speed growth.
Li also said the industry would not suffer any big losses if it deals with the situation well.
Li, who is attending the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress (NPC), made the remarks while speaking to reporters.
“As everyone [nearby countries] is involved in gaming, if the [local] industry can deal well with it, I don’t think there will be any big losses in the gaming industry in Macau,” Li said.
“There might be some losses, some impact, it’s self-evident, but if the industry handles it well, I think it’s possible that they can maintain the mid-speed growth phase for a while.”
He also dismissed media reports claiming that the local gaming industry had reached an “inflection point”. He also underlined that previously the local economy grew 40 percent because the gaming industry was in its rapid growth phase at that time.
Investopedia defines an “inflection point” as an event that results in a significant change in the progress of a company, industry, sector, economy or geopolitical situation. An inflection point can be considered a turning point after which a dramatic change, with either positive or negative results, is expected to result.
Li said that the local economy’s growth rate has slowed down to 10 to 12 percent because gaming has decelerated to mid-speed, but not low-speed. He denied claims that it has reached an inflection point.
Meanwhile, regarding the development of the local tourism industry, Li also said that Macau residents should be consulted on the matter, after which, based on their opinions, the size of Macau’s tourism development should be decided upon. Once this was determined, Macau should decide whether to expand, maintain or tighten the policies on the individual visit scheme.
The scheme, which was launched by the central government in 2003, allows mainlanders to visit Macau on an individual basis.
Li, the central government’s top representative in Macau, also said it was a “miracle” for Macau with just about 30 square kilometres of land surface to receive 30 million visitors per year. However, Macau’s tourism carrying capacity was a figure that still was yet to be confirmed by the local government, he said.
Li also said what is important to consider about the city’s tourism development was whether its resources can cater for the growth in visitor arrivals, pointing out that there cannot be an unlimited growth in visitors as that would affect Macau residents’ quality of life.
He also pointed out that Chief Executive Chui Sai On said after his talks with the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) in Beijing last week that his government would continue its effort for Macau to become a world tourism and leisure centre. Li said the point was to better adapt Macau to visitor growth trends.
According to official statistics, mainlanders accounted for 67.6 percent of Macau’s visitor arrivals in January.
A total of 765,323 mainlanders travelling under the individual visitor scheme (IVS) arrived in January, or 31 percent of all visitor arrivals. (macaunews/macaupost)