Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes said Monday there were more visitor arrivals than expected on Sunday, the first day of the three-day May Day Golden Week.
Senna Fernandes made the remarks when asked by the media about the city’s visitor arrival figures, on the sidelines of the launch of a souvenir coin at Macau Tower.
“At the moment it is a little bit higher than what we expected, but not a lot higher. Earlier [this year] we said that we expect a [year-on-year] growth rate of between three percent and five percent. Yesterday’s [Sunday’s] figures show a rise of about six percent,” Senna Fernandes said.
According to official figures, Macau recorded 32.6 million visitor arrivals last year, up 5.4 percent year on year.
When asked whether the government would implement crowd control measures during the Golden Week, which ends today, she said that it wasn’t necessary to implement the measures for the time being and she hoped that they wouldn’t need to be implemented either, adding that the Macau Government Tourism Office would continue to monitor the number of visitors.
She noted that there are tourism ambassadors at various tourist spots to give visitors tips about their trips, adding they would suggest visitors to avoid the city centre when it becomes too crowded. She underlined that the tourism ambassadors could only make suggestions and that it was up to the visitors to decide where to go.
In a TV report by government-owned broadcaster TDM yesterday, some visitors arriving Macau’s Barrier Gate checkpoint said that there were a lot of people waiting to pass through immigration, taking as much as an hour. Some noted that it took two hours to wait to get on a shuttle bus, going from the checkpoint to Cotai.
Another visitor said he had paid 200 patacas for a taxi ride from Wynn Palace in Cotai to Grand Lisboa on the peninsula.