The October tally for Macau visitor arrivals was nearly 2.89 million, up by 7.9 percent compared to the prior-year period, according to data released on Thursday by the city’s Statistics and Census Service.
The statistics bureau attributed the growth in visitor arrivals to the effect of the Chinese National Day holidays – commonly known as the October Golden Week period – which this year was boosted by coinciding with the lunar calendar-based Mid-Autumn Festival holiday.
The number of overnight and same-day visitors rose by 7.3 percent and 8.4 percent year-on-year respectively to 1.47 million and nearly 1.42 million.
The average length of stay of visitors in October was 1.2 days, on a par with the figure in the same month last year, but was 0.1-day fewer than that in September.
The number of mainland Chinese visitors to Macau in October was over 2.05 million, 12.8 percent higher than the prior-year period. Among them, 959,648 were travelling under the Individual Visit Scheme (IVS). The number of IVS visitors grew 11.1 percent year-on-year during the month.
The tally of visitors from Hong Kong and Taiwan – the second- and third-most important source markets respectively – dropped by 9.4 percent and 2.1 percent respectively compared to the prior-year period in October. Meanwhile, the number of visitors from South Korea surged by 54.5 percent to 80,525, trailing the figure of Taiwan visitors in October by fewer than 5,000.
October’s Golden Week period includes China’s National Day on October 1, which this year fell on Sunday. China’s State Council declared the 2017 holiday period as running for eight days from October 1 to 8, as it included the Mid-Autumn Festival, which this year fell on October 4 (a Wednesday).
In the first four days of this year’s Golden Week, the total number of visitors to Macau actually declined by 4 percent on a strict calendar basis, compared to the same period last year.
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”We have not had discussions about the concession renewal with the [Macau] government. We have taken the view that if we continue to deliver on what we expect is the expectations from operators, then we will be treated fairly”
Chairman and chief executive of MGM Resorts, the parent of Macau casino operator MGM China