The aggregate number of visitor arrivals to Macau in the first seven days of the eight-day October Golden Week holiday was up 11.6 percent year-on-year, despite a slow start in the first four days of the festive period. The aggregate improvement was aided by a surge in mainland visitor numbers on Saturday.
The tally of all visitors from October 1 to October 7 inclusive was 844,522. The total of arrivals from mainland China in that period was 647,352, up 9.6 percent from the prior-year period.
The growth in the number of non-mainland customers outpaced that of the mainland segment at the start of the holiday, prior to a rush on Friday, October 6, when the tally of visitors of all stripes rose 36.7 percent year-on-year, and 38.6 percent for mainland arrivals. That contributed to an accumulated improvement of 6.8 percent year-on-year for the first six days of October Golden Week.
On Saturday, the daily tally of all visitors surged 60.2 percent, to 109,084, and for mainland visitors by a massive 82 percent year-on-year, to 75,298 for that day.
Visitor numbers had actually fallen 2 percent year-on-year in the first four days of the holiday. The fall in mainland visitor numbers in those four days had been 5.1 percent year-on-year.
October’s Golden Week period includes China’s National Day on October 1, which this year fell on a 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.
The Macau arrival figures for the holiday period exclude migrant workers and non-Macau people studying in the city under special visa arrangements.
The National Day Golden Week is usually a peak season for Macau’s tourism and gaming industries as hundreds of thousands of mainland Chinese tourists take advantage of the weeklong break to visit Macau.
There is however no clearly demonstrated connection between overall tourism arrivals and casino gross gaming revenue in Macau.
Prior to the holiday period the Macau government said it was expecting visitor numbers for the National Day Golden Week holiday to go up by about 4 percent to 5 percent from a year earlier.
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"The [Macau] government has a lead in this subject in regards to what should be done after the [gaming] concessions expire. We will be first listening to what the government will say”
Ambrose So Shu Fai
Vice-chairman and chief executive at Macau casino operator SJM Holdings