Visitor arrivals to Macau during China’s National Day were up by 18.4 percent from a year earlier.
Preliminary figures from the city’s Public Security Police show Macau welcomed close to 132,000 visitors on Monday. Nearly 112,000 came from mainland China, an increase of 35.5 percent in year-on-year terms, according to the preliminary figures, made available by the Macao Government Tourism Office.
The preliminary arrival figures do not include migrant workers and other people living in Macau under different visa arrangements.
The 18-percent increase in the aggregate number of visitor arrivals marks a sound start for the National Day Golden Week holiday. This 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 weeklong 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 is expected.
The Macau government last week said it was expecting visitor numbers for the National Day Golden Week holiday to go up by about 6 percent from a year earlier.
Last year, approximately 921,000 people visited Macau during the National Day Golden Week, between October 1 and 8. The 2017 National Day break lasted for eight days according to the State Council, as it included the Mid-Autumn Festival, which fell on October 4 last year, a Wednesday.
In a research note issued on Monday, the Instinet research arm of Japanese brokerage Nomura forecast Macau GGR this month would be about 5 percent to 10 percent more than a year ago.
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China