Visitor arrivals to Macau during February surged by 23.1 percent year-on-year, reaching 3.07 million. The figure is the highest monthly tally since August 2014, according to data released by the Macau Statistics and Census Service on Friday.
The statistics bureau attributed the growth in February visitor arrivals to the effect of the Chinese New Year holidays, which are based on the lunar calendar and fell in February this year.
The tally of visitors from mainland China – Macau’s largest single source market for tourists – was 2.29 million, rising by 37.3 percent compared to the prior-year period. The aggregate of mainland visitors travelling to Macau under China’s Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) leapt by 57.9 percent year-on-year to 1.40 million. The amount was a new single-month record since the implementation of the scheme in July 2003.
The number of same-day visitors was up by 32.6 percent compared to the prior-year period to 1.67 million in February, while the tally of overnight visitors was 1.40 million, grew by 13.3 percent year-on-year.
Average length of stay of visitors in February dropped by 0.1 day to 1.1 days, judged year-on-year, while the average length of stay of overnight visitors remained stable at 2.2 days and that of same-day visitors increased by 0.1 day to 0.3 day.
The statistics bureau said the reduction in the average length of stay of visitors in February was due to the increase in the proportion of same-day visitors by 3.9 percentage points year-on-year to 54.5 percent of visitor arrivals.
Overnight visitors to Macau are a segment generally regarded as of higher value to the local casino industry than day-trippers. But a number of investment analysts have said that Macau’s headline visitor numbers historically are not directly correlated to overall gaming demand, as gross gaming revenue in the Macau market has been typically skewed to high-end play.
The tally of February visitors from Hong Kong was 501,753, up by 0.1 percent year-on-year. The number of visitors from Taiwan and South Korea dropped by 8.4 percent and 13.4 percent respectively, to 79,670 and 76,439 in February.
"The positive underlying contribution from each of our operating segments provides a strong start to the year"
Chief executive of lottery and gaming supplier IGT