Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes says she expects Macau’s number of visitor arrivals around Christmas to increase slightly.
She made the cautious forecast on Sunday after attending the inauguration of the third term of board members of the Macau Youth Federation at the Macau Science Centre in Nape.
Senna Fernandes said that with the mainland’s new tourism law that took effect on October 1, many travel agencies in the mainland had adopted a “wait-and-see attitude”, which may reduce the number of mainland visitors who would usually visit Macau as part of a tour group. She said that as a result she still expected the number of total visitors to increase slightly around Christmas, with the rise being in the number of tourists travelling independently.
The mainland’s new tourism law aims to put an end to the so-called “zero fee” tours where travellers do not need to pay anything or just small amounts of money to join a tour but are then “persuaded” to buy goods in specified shops during the trip.
Senna Fernandes also was quoted by The Macau Post Daily as saying that October had seen a decline of about 10 percent year-on-year in package tour arrivals from the mainland, adding that the total number of visitor arrivals largely remained the same that month with the rise being in individual travellers.
According to official statistics, Macau’s number of visitor arrivals increased two percent year-on-year to 2.39 million in October.
Senna Fernandes said that the decrease in that number was largely due to the new law, adding that mainland visitors in general will now have to pay more to join a tour. She said that tourists ought to change their attitude towards travelling – they must realise that they have to pay a reasonable amount to travel, adding that the new law would benefit the tourism industry in the long term. (macaunews)