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Macao is on track to welcome two million foreign visitors this year, MGTO says

The tourism authority set its goal for 2024 late last year. So far, it has focused on short-haul markets within Asia.

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UPDATED: 15 May 2024, 8:00 am

A Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) official has expressed confidence the SAR will achieve its target of two million foreign visitors from outside Greater China by the end of the year. That’s about two thirds of the number of foreign visitors welcomed in pre-pandemic 2019.

“So far, we are fulfilling our expectations,” the bureau’s deputy director Cheng Wai Tong told local media, when asked how the MGTO was progressing earlier this week. “We trust that we will fulfil the whole-year goal of two million [international visitors].”

In the first quarter of this year, Macao welcomed almost 584,000 international visitors, or nearly 70 percent of the comparable figure from 2019. 

Chang said the MGTO was focused on promoting the SAR to the short-haul markets of Southeast and Northeast Asia for the first half of 2024. Its efforts included a series of tourism roadshows in Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.

[See more: This is what Western tourists really think about Macao]

He indicated that promotions targeting other markets would kick off in the near future. These were likely to target European travellers, as MGTO has been working closely with both the Portuguese Association of Travel and Tourism Agencies (APAVT) and the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Association (ECTAA). 

The SAR is APAVT’s official “preferred international destination” for 2024 (and ECTAA’s “preferred destination in 2025”).

Last October, the government proposed a 2024 budget of 235 million patacas to attract more visitors from outside Greater China – in line with Macao’s long-term tourism strategy to reduce the city’s economic dependence on the mainland Chinese gaming market.

Just under 1.5 million foreigners visited Macao in 2023, about five percent of total arrivals for the year.

UPDATED: 15 May 2024, 8:00 am

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