Visitor arrivals to Macau increased by 0.9 percent year-on-year to 2.55 million in May, show data from the city’s Statistics and Census Service. But the number of mainland Chinese travelling to the city fell for the third month in a row judged year-on-year, although the number of independent travellers from China was up in May.
Last month the number of tourists from mainland China decreased by 0.5 percent year-on-year to 1.69 million, according to figures released on Tuesday. Government data also show that the generally more affluent mainland visitors travelling under the Individual Visit Scheme rose by 3.5 percent from a year earlier.
Total visitor arrivals to Macau in the five months to May 31 fell by 2.7 percent from the prior-year period, to 12.51 million. Mainland Chinese accounted for 66.4 percent of the aggregate number of visitors in the first five months this year – or 8.35 million visitors, down by 3.1 percent year-on-year.
The number of Chinese tourists to Macau has been decreasing amid a decline in the spending power of mainland tourists, linked in part to a tightening in liquidity in the mainland property market, say some investment analysts. Competition from other casino destinations in the region has also been cited as factors. A number of analysts have noted however that what matters most from Macau’s perspective is the yield, in terms of spending, from each visitor it receives rather than the volume of arrivals.
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”The Macau government is not aiming to trivialise or drive out the junket sector, but to regulate the sector so that it would not hurt Macau’s reputation”
Alvin Chau Cheok Wa
Chief executive of privately-held VIP junket business Suncity Group