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Macao expects no real growth in July and August visitor numbers

Official estimates indicate that tourist arrivals are expected to stay flat this summer on a year-on-year basis
  • Measures such as the recent duty-free threshold increase and multiple entry visas could benefit the tourism sector however





At least 6 million people are expected to visit Macao during July and August, the deputy director of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), Cheng Wai Tong, said in an interview with local media over the weekend. 

“We believe that there will be an increase when comparing [ the visitor numbers for] the summer holiday this year with the one last year,”  Cheng told broadcaster TDM. 

But publicly available data from the Statistics and Census Service indicates that Macao saw around 5.98 million visitor arrivals during July and August 2023, meaning that the MGTO’s forecast would represent an increase of just 0.34 percent. 

[See more: Overall visitor numbers inched up in May]

As for the hotel occupancy rate, Cheng said that it was forecast to reach around 90 percent over the summer break. Official data shows that the occupancy figures for last July and August were almost the same, at 89 percent and 88.7 percent respectively. 

Nevertheless, the tourism official said he was optimistic about the prospects for the hospitality sector during the summer, mentioning various market boosting measures that have been introduced this year. They include the addition of 10 mainland cities to the Individual Travel Scheme, the multiple entry Hengqin-Macao visa program and the recent increase in the duty-free limit for mainland visitors in the two SARs. 

Cheng said that the increase in the duty-free limit would boost tourism revenue, as over half of the non-gaming expenditure by mainland Chinese visitors was made on shopping. 

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