Visitor arrivals to Macau during the first six days of the October Golden Week holiday period rose by an average of 11.8 percent, to a total of almost 812,500, show data issued on Sunday by the Macao Government Tourism Office.
The average was brought down by a 12.1-percent year-on-year decline in the day six tally.
Visitors from mainland China made up 83.3 percent of all arrivals in the first six days of the holiday period, contributing approximately 677,000 visits in total; and an average 18.9 percent year-on-year expansion for the first six days of the festive period.
October Golden Week 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 week-long 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. But September 29 and 30 immediately beforehand are weekend days this year, meaning some spillover in terms of tourism arrivals had been anticipated by the authorities.
“Golden Week visitation (first six days) from China was up strongly at 19 percent year-on-year, and VIP volume was up more than 10 percent year-on-year,” investment bank Morgan Stanley wrote in a note released on Sunday.
Analysts Praveen Choudhary, Jeremy An and Thomas Allen stated: “Even though the last two days of Golden Week saw flattish visitation, junket VIP revenue was robust and up year-on-year. However, it may not continue for the remainder of the month. We estimate October GGR growth to be 7 percent year-on-year and fourth quarter 2018 growth to be 6 percent year-on-year.”
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“We see that basically the ‘golden’ periods [for Macau's casino industry] are all concentrated in the second half of this year”
Lei Wai Nong
Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance