Visitor arrivals reach 11.6 million Jan-June: MGTO chief

2023-07-12 03:35     BY Yuki Lei    Comment:11

Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the 4th Greater Bay Area Hotel & Cultural and Creative Industry Expo yesterday, Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes pointed out that the number of visitor arrivals reached 11.6 million in the first half of this year, of which mainlanders and Hongkongers recovered to nearly 60 percent and 90 percent respectively of the pre-pandemic totals in 2019, while foreign tourists reached only 20 percent of their pre-COVID-19 number.

Macau confirmed its first novel coronavirus case in January 2020.

Compared with the number of 20.28 million visitor arrivals recorded in the first half of 2019, the number of visitor arrivals during the first six months of this year stood at just 57.4 percent, according to official statistics.

The annual three-day expo is being held at The Venetian Macao’s Cotai Expo through Thursday.

In addition, Senna Fernandes said, MGTO will put more effort into its promotion campaign targeting the international tourism market.

Senna Fernandes also said that the daily average of visitor arrivals in Macau since July shows an upwards trend, with a daily average of 80,000 visitor arrivals in the past week and 100,000 over the weekend, adding she expected the growth trend in visitor arrivals to be sustained.

When asked by a reporter about local hotels’ current average occupancy rate, Senna Fernandes pointed out that most of Macau’s hotel guestrooms were basically available again so that the hotels will be able to cope with the expected peak visitor flow during the summer holiday, but she was quick to add that the hospitality industry remained understaffed and, therefore, she was hoping that fresh graduates will choose jobs in the tourism industry.

According to Senna Fernandes, the average hotel occupancy rate over the past two weeks stood at 89 percent, which she hoped would achieve an average of 90 percent, with room rates expected to return to their pre-pandemic level.

According to the Statistics and Census Bureau (DSEC), Macau’s 130 hotels had 43,000 available rooms at the end of May. In the first five months, the number of hotel guests rose by 122.8 percent to 4.9 million.

In the pre-pandemic year of 2019, Macau’s hotel industry logged 14.1 million guests. The number of visitor arrivals in 2019 reached a record 39.4 million.

According to DSEC figures, Macau recorded 9.4 million visitor arrivals in the first five months of the year, up 205.9 percent year on year. The bureau will release its visitor arrival figures for June and the first half of this year on July 19. 

Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes (centre) speaks to reporters on the sidelines of yesterday’s opening ceremony of the 4th Greater Bay Area Hotel & Cultural and Creative Industry Expo at The Venetian Macao’s Cotai Expo. – Photo: Maria Cheang Ut Meng

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