Macau attracted 2.64 million visitors in February, down by 1.2 percent year-on-year, data from the city’s Statistics and Census Service showed on Wednesday.
February included the week-long Chinese New Year holiday period. Preliminary figures from the city’s Public Security Police, previously disclosed, showed Macau welcomed just over 1.22 million visitors between February 7 and February 14 inclusive, up by 4.04 percent from a year earlier.
The figures for tourist arrivals to Macau are closely followed by the city’s gaming industry, as visitors account for most of Macau’s casino gamblers. Investment bank Morgan Stanley stated in a Monday report that sustained growth in the number of visitors was one of the indicators investors were looking for before re-entering the market for Macau gaming industry-related stocks.
Wednesday’s data showed that the average length of stay of visitors last month increased by 0.2 days judged year-on-year, to 1.1 days.
In February, the number of visitors from mainland China decreased by 5.2 percent year-on-year to fewer than 1.8 million. The number of mainlanders travelling under the Individual Visit Scheme – which allows mainland passport holders to visit Macau and Hong Kong as independent travellers rather than as part of a tour group – dropped by 11.5 percent.
Macau’s visitor arrivals in the first two months of 2016 were down 1.0 percent from the prior-year period to 5.1 million. The monthly tally of visitors to Macau had declined by 0.8 percent year-on-year in January.
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"Competition is tough in Macau and is also changing. It [the local market] is susceptible to a lot of macro factors”
Daisy Ho Chiu Fung
Chairman of casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd