The Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) said on Wednesday it expects the number of visitor arrivals to drop by 3 per cent this year, the first year-on-year dip since 2015.
MGTO Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes noted that the downward trend started last November, irrespective of the Macau Grand Prix in that month.
Senna Fernandes made the remarks during MGTO’s annual press conference, at the Macau Tower Convention and Entertainment Centre.
MGTO expects a 6 per cent decline in visitor arrivals during the Chinese New Year holiday, from 1.2 million last year to 1.13 million this time. The Chinese New Year falls on January 25 this year.
According to statistics released during the press conference, which was attended by several hundred journalists and tourism sector representatives, Macau received a record 39.4 million visitor arrivals last year, a year-on-year growth of 10.1 per cent. The number of visitor arrivals from the Chinese mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong rose by 11.3 per cent to 36.3 million, or 92 per cent of the total number of visitor arrivals. The number of foreign visitor arrivals dropped by 2.8 per cent to 3.1 million. South Korea continued to rank top among foreign visitor arrivals. Some 740,000 South Koreans visited Macau last year.
According to the Macau Post Daily, preliminary data released during the press conference showed that overnight visitor arrivals grew by 0.8 per cent to 18.6 million, accounting for 47.3 per cent of all visitor arrivals. Provisional data also showed that Macau’s 126 hotels and inns with a total of 41,148 rooms received 13.9 million guests last year, resulting in an average room occupancy rate of 90 per cent – unchanged from 2018.
According to Senna Fernandes, the revamped Grand Prix Museum in Zape is slated to open its doors before the summer holidays. She admitted that there is still no schedule for the reopening of the Wine Museum, which has been closed since 2017, as the government still hasn’t found appropriate premises.