The number of visitor arrivals to Macau in the first six months of 2023 was just below 11.65 million, showed provisional data released by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO).
The daily average of visitors topped 64,000, reaching 59.6 percent of 2019’s levels, before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a Friday announcement.
International visitor arrivals in the six months to June 30 neared 475,000, equivalent to 31.2 percent of the corresponding period in 2019. The figure represented 4.1 percent of aggregate arrivals in the first half of 2023.
The Macau government has a stated policy aim of encouraging its casino concessionaires to draw more of their customers from markets beyond China.
As part of the Macau government’s tender process for new 10-year gaming concessions, bidders were asked to create plans and pledge investment on a number of issues, including bringing in more customers from overseas.
Prior to Covid-19, Macau was overwhelmingly a Chinese tourism market, with mainland China and Hong Kong accounting for 89.6 percent of Macau’s 39.4-million visitor arrivals in 2019, according to Macau government data.
The director of MGTO, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, told GGRAsia last week that the six casino firms were doing their part so far in attracting more international visitors to the city.
The official said that while the government did not have a long-term goal for the mix between international visitors and those coming from Greater China, an immediate target was to increase the market share of international arrivals to around 10 percent of the overall visitor volume.
Ms Senna Fernandes had said previously that Macau could tally circa “80,000” daily visitor arrivals in August, “traditionally the best” month for the city’s travel trade.
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