Skip to content
Menu

Macao’s tourism sector is inching closer to a full recovery, official data shows

Figures revealed by government officials show that visitor consumption levels have already exceeded 2019 numbers
  • Authorities aim to continue growing the international market, with an initial focus on Southeast Asia

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

UPDATED: 17 Jun 2024, 5:21 pm

Macao’s tourism sector is well on its way towards a complete post-pandemic recovery, according to provisional data shared by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), which shows that the city’s visitor arrival figures totalled around 14 million people from January to May of this year – 82.5 percent of the corresponding figure in 2019. When compared to the same period last year, the total – which represents a daily visitor arrival rate of roughly 93,000 people – marks a growth of some 50 percent. 

The data was revealed by the MGTO head Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes during an event held for Greater Bay Area (GBA) media delegates yesterday. According to TDM, Senna Fernandes also stated that the visitor spending during the first quarter of 2024 had already surpassed 2019 levels by 20 percent. 

“We can see that during the first quarter between January and March, our total visitor spending was 20.3 billion patacas,” she said. “If you compare it with last year, it’s an increase of nearly 36 percent.”

Macao is aiming for 33 million visitors this year. Senna Fernandes pointed out that the goal was still short of the 39 million visitors registered in 2019, but said it was more important for recovery to be smooth. 

[See more: Macao is China’s top tourism revenue earner in 2023, UNWTO study finds]

In terms of long-haul markets, she reiterated that the goal this year is to reach 2 million international visitors and that next year, the office hopes the number will recover to the 2019 total of 3 million. The official, however, admitted that there was still much work to be done in this area, including restarting suspended flight routes, including those from South Korea, which have only recovered by some 50 percent. 

Regarding the hotel occupancy level, Senna Fernandes said last week that the figure has been hovering around 85 to 86 percent in recent times, adding that she believed the total average this year could reach 90 percent. 

When asked about the possibility of a tourism rivalry between Hong Kong and Macao, the MGTO head said that she considers the two cities not as “competitors,” but rather as “traditional partners.” She highlighted this by noting that Hong Kong carriers such as the GBA Airlines and Cathay Pacific recently took part in the MGTO-organised roadshow in Thailand. 

Meanwhile, according to local media reports, Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng said this morning that 65 percent of the visitors in Macao last year originated from mainland China, while the remainder consisted of travellers from Southeast Asian countries, Hong Kong, Europe and other regions. He stressed that the SAR would focus its efforts on expanding these international markets, with an initial focus on the Southeast Asian region followed by the markets in Europe, the US and the Middle East. 

UPDATED: 17 Jun 2024, 5:21 pm

Send this to a friend