The number of tourist arrivals to Macau during the four-day period encompassing Easter fell 4.7 percent compared to the same holiday period last year, to nearly 403,000, according to data released by the Public Security Police.
The figures covered Good Friday – which fell on March 30 this year, as calculated under the lunar calendar – and Easter Saturday, March 31. Good Friday and Easter Saturday are public holidays in Macau and in neighbouring Hong Kong. Easter Monday (April 2 this year) is also a public holiday in Hong Kong.
The Easter period – a Christian celebration – is not a holiday in mainland China, the main feeder market for Macau’s casino sector.
Investment analysts have said that there need not necessarily be a correlation between headline numbers of visitors to Macau or even year-on-year increases in tourist arrivals, and the revenue performance of the city’s casino industry. The market is still thought to be skewed toward higher-end players that make an outsize contribution to casino gross gaming revenue. Tourists do however make up most of the players in the local gaming venues.
Macau welcomed a total of 5.8 million visitors in the first two months of 2018, according to the latest data from the city’s Statistics and Census Service, up by 8.2 percent in year-on-year terms. Visitors from mainland China accounted for nearly 73 percent of tourist arrivals to Macau during that period.
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"The most worrying [thing] is whether [mainland] China will again tighten the issuance of travel visas [for visits to Macau]"
Luiz Lam Kai Kuong
Macau junket investor