Macau, the fastest-growing destination in 2008


NEW YORK, NY (AUGUST 28, 2008) – More than 1.5 million international visitors have come to Macau in the first six months of this year, a 46.5 % jump over the same period last year. This does not include the 8.8 million Mainland residents who visited in the same period, according to the Macau Government Tourist Office.

At a press conference entitled “Macau Tourism Industry – Diversified Development & New Challenges”, deputy director of the Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) Ms. Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes introduced the latest development of Macau’s tourism sector to Mainland and overseas journalists at a press conference in Beijing, together with the director of the Government Information Bureau, Mr. Victor Chan Chi Ping.

Ms. Fernandes said of the more than 1.5 million international visitors, arrivals from East and Southeast Asian countries surged most notably, with growth that ranged from 29% to 82%. The figures showed the increasing diversification of Macau’s tourism market, she said.

On exploring tourist markets, she said the government would continue to break ground in reinforcing the present major visitors base – the Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, China – while reaching out to develop international markets.

In the first half of this year, the total number of tourist arrivals amounted to 14,925,604, a growth of 18.1% over the same period last year. Visitors from the Mainland were central to Macau’s tourism industry and totaled 8,776,232, making up 58% of the total tourist arrivals in this period.

The purchasing power of Mainland visitors was also the highest among all visitors, with a per capita spending of 3,461 patacas – almost double that of other visitors. The number of Mainland tourists who visited Macau under the Facilitated Individual Travel (FIT) scheme totaled 3,736,726, which accounted for 42.6% of total Mainland visitors.

Despite the Mainland authorities having started to adjust the FIT scheme last May, the most up-to-date figures showed no signs of decline in the number of Mainland visitors. It is believed that these adjustments provided an opportunity for Macau to refine its strategies in developing a healthier and more rational tourism industry, Ms. Fernandes said.

As Macau’s tourism industry continues to expand, MGTO would continue to focus on fostering the development of tourism diversity and enhance the economic effects of tourism on the society and economy as a whole.

For additional information, please contact the Macau Government Tourist Office Representatives:

Joao H. Rodrigues
Media & Marketing Manager
501 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1101
New York, NY 10017
Tel: (646) 227-0690
Fax: (646) 366-8170

Shirley Tu
Marketing Manager
1334 Parkview Avenue, Suite 300
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Tel: (310) 545-3464
Fax: (310) 545-4221