The total spending – excluding gaming expenses – of visitors to Macau last year fell 17.2 percent year-on-year according to data released on Friday by the city’s Statistics and Census Service. Tourist spending for full year 2015 amounted to MOP51.13 billion (US$6.4 billion) compared to MOP61.75 billion in the prior-year period.
This was the first annual decline recorded in tourist spending since the data started being published in the current format in 2011, according to the statistics bureau.
Total spending of visitors in the fourth quarter amounted to MOP13.05 billion, down by 7.1 percent from the prior-year quarter but up by 4.7 percent sequentially.
The pace of the year-on-year fall in non-gaming spending by visitors outstripped the pace of year-on-year decline in total visitors to Macau during 2015. The city recorded about 30.7 million visitor arrivals last year, an annual decline of 2.6 percent.
Macau’s tourist price index, which reflects the price change of goods and services purchased by visitors, fell by 0.86 percent year-on-year in 2015, show official data. It was the first annual decline recorded since the index was first published in 2001.
Total non-gaming spending by visitors and the overall number of tourist arrivals both declined at a slower rate than casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) in 2015. Macau’s GGR for the period declined 34.3 percent compared to 2014, according to official data.
In 2015, non-gaming spending by mainland visitors to Macau amounted to MOP40.10 billion, down by 19.8 percent from the previous year. Spending by mainland tourists accounted for 78.4 percent of the total spending of visitors last year.
The non-gaming spending of all overnight visitors to Macau last year totalled MOP40.17 billion, down by 21.1 percent year-on-year, while that of same-day visitors increased by 0.9 percent to MOP10.96 billion.
The latest set of data show that per capita non-gaming spending of visitors fell by 15 percent year-on-year to MOP1,665 for the whole of 2015. Per capita spending of overnight visitors to Macau last year decreased by 19.6 percent year-on-year to MOP2,807, while that of same-day visitors increased by 4.3 percent, to MOP668.
Analysed by consumption structure, visitors spent mainly on shopping, accounting for 45.8 percent of all non-gaming spending. That was followed by accommodation (25.4 percent), and food and beverages (20.7 percent).
Per capita shopping spending dropped by 20.0 percent year-on-year to MOP762, which was mostly spent on local food products (29.4 percent).
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Daisy Ho Chiu Fung
Chairman of casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd