The number of Macau’s visitor arrivals is expected to increase at least 10 percent this year from last year’s 28 million, led by visitors from the mainland, Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) Director Joao Manuel Costa Antunes said in an interview in New York last week, according to Bloomberg.
Last year, the number of visitor arrivals rose 12.2 percent year-on-year.
The number of visitor arrivals from Europe will gain more slowly than the average due to the continent’s economic woes, Antunes forecast.
The growth forecast projects a faster increase than in March, when the number of visitor arrivals gained 7.3 percent year-on-year to 2.35 million, with visitor arrivals from the mainland rising 15 percent to 1.44 million.
The casino industry’s gross receipts rose 22 percent year-on-year to 25 billion patacas last month, according to the Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau (DICJ), indicating a slowdown in the growth rate.
Costa Antunes said he expected the number of hotel rooms to increase to about 50,000 in five years from 23,000 now, based on the number of projects in the pipeline he expects to be completed. He declined to comment on individual developments.
Macau needs the added rooms because its hotel occupancy rate averages about 85 percent and it can be difficult to find vacancies during the weekends, according to Macau’s veteran tourism director.(macaunews)