Veteran Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) Director Joao Manuel Costa Antunes said Monday that visitor arrivals in 2012 will dip to single-digit growth instead of the 11 percent year-on-year growth he had forecast back in January.
Costa Antunes said during the three-day Global Tourism Economy Forum held at the Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Centre that despite a slower growth rate due to the blurry economic situation, this year’snumber of visitor arrivals would still exceed last year’s record 28 million.
Last year’s visitor arrival number was 12.1 percent up from 2010. In 2010, the year-on-year increase stood at 14.8 percent.
In the first seven months this year, visitor arrivals totalled 16 million, a year-on-year growth of just 1.4 percent.
In July, the number of visitor arrivals dropped 4.2 percent to 2.44 million from the same month last year.
“We can expect (visitor arrivals will) continue to increase, but, more than the figures, we want (visitors’) satisfaction,” Costa Antunes said.
“We want tourists coming to Macau to feel satisfied after their visit, so that we can use them to promote our destination. We really like to see new tourists as well as repeat tourists,” he said.
Antunes also said that his office is working on raising the quality of service provided by the local tourism industry since visitors’ satisfaction paves the way for repeat visitors who can be considered the city’s “promoters”
Costa Antunes also point out that once the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge is fully operational, scheduled for 2016, it would extend Macau’s accessibility as more people could be expected to arrive from flights landing at Hong Kong International Airport.(macaunews)