The head of Macau’s tourism authority expects the city to welcome a daily average of “80,000 to 90,000” visitors during the October Golden Week.
China’s State Council has designated September 29 to October 6 inclusive this year as the holiday period popularly known as October Golden Week. This year, the period encompasses the lunar-calendar based Mid-Autumn Festival, falling on September 29, and China’s National Day on October 1.
Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes made the forecast in comments to local media on Sunday.
“The next peak [in visitor arrivals to Macau] should be during China’s Golden Week of Mid-Autumn Festival and the National Day,” said Ms Senna Fernandes on the sidelines of a public event.
She added that Macau had seen a daily average of “more than 100,000″ visitor arrivals in the summer month of August, with the average hotel occupancy rate at “over 90 percent”.
The visitor arrivals daily average had subsequently decreased to circa “60,000 to 70,000″ so far in September, as the summer holiday period ended in mainland China and other tourist feeder markets, the tourism official said.
In her latest comments, Ms Senna Fernandes said that it would be “quite challenging” for the daily average tourist arrivals to Macau during the October Golden Week to surpass the August figure.
She added, in reference to tourist arrivals: “The month of August has been – even in pre-pandemic times – the best month of the year. We hope there will be a [daily average of] 80,000 to 90,000 visitor arrivals during the upcoming Golden Week.”
Macau recorded nearly 2.76 million visitor arrivals in July, or a daily average of just above 89,000, according to data from the city’s Statistics and Census Service. That was still 21.8 percent below the tally recorded for July 2019, when Macau had a daily average of 113,878 visitor arrivals.
The Statistics and Census Service is yet to release visitor arrival data for August this year. It should do so later this month.
In her Sunday remarks, Ms Senna Fernandes also told reporters that her bureau planned to use incentives and other subsidies to attract tourists from international markets, ending existing discount schemes benefiting visitors from mainland China. The latter remains the most important feeder market for Macau’s gaming and tourism trade.
The MGTO director said: “Whether it is some allowance or other incentives supporting individual travellers or groups of travellers, it will be for overseas markets but not mainland China anymore, as the mainland China [market] is relatively stable, but overseas markets are the ones that we need to focus our efforts on.”
Macau has a public policy aspiration to increase the proportion of tourists – including gambling tourists – it draws in from overseas. MGTO has mentioned recently offering discounts to overseas consumers on the cost of flying to Macau’s regionally-focused airport.
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