Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes says her office expects Macau’s number of visitor arrivals this year reach almost 40 million – another record and an increase of 438 per cent compared to 1999, the year of the establishment of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR).
Senna Fernandes made the remarks while speaking to reporters at Rotunda de Carlos da Maia – popularly known as “Three Lamps” – on Saturday on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of a month-long beef festival hosted by the Macau Small- and Medium-sized Catering Enterprises Association.
Senna Fernandes noted that the number of visitor arrivals to Macau during the mainland’s seven-day National Day Golden Week holiday period increased 11 per cent compared to the same period last year. While the number of mainland visitors rose nine percent year-on-year between October 1 and 7, visitors from Hong Kong saw the highest year-on-year increase during the period – more than 40 per cent, Senna Fernandes noted, adding that most of the Hong Kong visitors during the period came to Macau via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HZMB).
Senna Fernandes said that the opening of the delta bridge in late October last year pushed up the number of visitor arrivals in November and December last year so that she does not expect visitor arrivals in the last two months of this year to see a large year-on-year increase.
Therefore, Senna Fernandes said that based on the current trend of visitor arrival growth, her office did not expect the total number of visitor arrivals this year to have a major difference to what her office had previously predicted – around 40 million.
According to the Statistics and Census Bureau (DSEC), Macau recorded 27.4 million visitor arrivals in the first eight months of the year, up 18 per cent year-on-year.
In August, the number of visitor arrivals rose 6.5 per cent year-on-year to 3.6 million. According to the Macau Post Daily, about 12.4 per cent of visitors in August arrived via the delta bridge.
In 1999, the number of visitor arrivals amounted to 7.4 million.