Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lei Wai Nong (pictured), says he’s confident the city will have received up to 28 million visitors this year, after welcoming more than 25 million tourists in the first 11 months of 2023.
Mr Lei was speaking to reporters on Sunday, on the sidelines of a public event, according to a statement from the Government Information Bureau.
The upped number – if achieved – would represent circa 71 percent of the pre-pandemic 2019 tally. That year Macau recorded a total of 39.4 million visitor arrivals, according to official data.
Regarding international visitor arrivals, Mr Lei observed that the average monthly tally had been increasing since the beginning of the year.
He said such arrivals in January had accounted for about 10 percent of the 2019 levels, before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, but that had increased to circa 70 percent of 2019 levels in August this year.
Official data show that Macau received just under 22.69 million tourists in the first 10 months of 2023, with about 67.5 percent being from mainland China. Some 1.02 million were international tourists from outside the Greater China region, accounting for 4.5 percent of all arrivals during that period.
The Macau government has a stated policy aim of encouraging its casino concessionaires to draw more of their customers from markets beyond China.
In his Sunday remarks, Mr Lei said that Macau’s economic recovery was ongoing, and that the government would launch various promotional initiatives in 2024 to attract more overseas tourists.
He added that the government’s tourism promotions would focus on Northeast and Southeast Asia, with a view to expanding the city’s source markets for visitors.
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