Visitors to Macau expected to grow under five percent next year

The number of visitors to the Chinese territory and Gambling Capital Macau will grow by under 5 percent next year as Macau focuses on luring more big spenders, according to the director of the Macau G

Visitors to Macau expected to grow under five percent next year

The number of visitors to the Chinese territory and Gambling Capital Macau will grow by under 5 percent next year as Macau focuses on luring more big spenders, according to the director of the Macau Government Tourist Office, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes.

Ms Senna Fernandes said on Friday that annual growth in visitor numbers had been slowing.

“I don’t believe there will be no growth next year, but that the rise will be limited to a low single digit,” she said on the sidelines of an official celebration of the anniversary of the handover.
Official data show Macau had over 24.3 million visitors in the first 10 months of this year, 4.7 percent more than in the equivalent period last year.

“The quality is more important than the quantity, and we also hope to provide better services to our tourists,” she said.
“We hope to attract tourists with higher spending power, and who stay for longer. We are not striving for relentless growth.”
Ms Senna Fernandes gave no targets for how much she would like visitors to spend or how long she would like them to stay.
Average spending per head was 1,905 patacas (US$238) in the third quarter, official data show. Each tourist from the mainland spent 2,321 patacas, on average.

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The average length of stay has been steady at 1.0 day so far this year.
To entice big spenders and give better service, the tourist office will begin next year giving establishments catering to tourists awards for good service.

Ms Senna Fernandes said the first awards would be for restaurants.
“In the past the only thing we would do was to fine or penalise any that breached the rules,” she said.

“But we also hope to give some acknowledgment to the service providers that have being doing a good job.”

Ms Senna Fernandes said the government would solicit public opinion around the Lunar New Year on walking trails for visitors on Taipa and Coloane.
She said four walking trails that had been opened on the peninsula two months ago to divert visitors away from the man tourist spots needed more advertising.

The government would next year invite bids from around the world to make a study of the development of tourism in Macau in the medium term to long term, Ms Senna Fernandes said.

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