Visitor arrivals to Macau during China’s National Day were up by 3.8 percent from a year earlier.
Preliminary figures from the city’s Public Security Police show Macau welcomed close to 136,000 visitors on Tuesday. Nearly 117,000 came from mainland China, an increase of 5.0 percent in year-on-year terms, according to the preliminary figures, made available by the Macao Government Tourism Office.
The 3.8-percent increase in the aggregate number of visitor arrivals marks a positive start for the National Day Golden Week holiday. This is usually a peak season for the city’s tourism and casino industries as hundreds of thousands of mainland Chinese tourists take advantage of the weeklong break to visit Macau.
There is however no direct correlation between overall tourism arrivals and casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) in Macau, according to investment analysts, who have said that is because GGR in the Macau market has been typically skewed to high-end play.
China’s State Council declared October 1 to October 7 as this year’s National Day holiday period.
A senior official of the Macao Government Tourism Office was quoted last week as saying the city anticipated a possible 15 percent year-on-year rise in visitor numbers during Golden Week.
A survey last week by GGRAsia suggested significant advanced bookings of hotel rooms for Golden Week. Nonetheless, brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd had said in a September 23 memo it expected the quality of the gaming customers during the period to be “lower” than during the Golden Week last year.
Last week, senior executives at two Macau casino operators had expressed caution regarding the outlook for their respective gaming businesses during China’s National Day holiday period.
In 2018, approximately 890,000 people visited Macau during the National Day Golden Week, between October 1 and 7. The tally – more than 80 percent of it stemming from visits by mainland Chinese – represented a year-on-year increase by 7.2 percent.
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Paulo Martins Chan
Director of Macau's Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau