Tourism chief expects 960,000 visitor arrivals during CNY Golden Week

2024-02-09 03:47
BY Yuki Lei

Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes told reporters yesterday that she expects the number of Spring Festival Golden Week holiday visitor arrivals to reach 960,000, with the daily average amounting to about 120,000, mainly from the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

According to past experience, the peak of visitor arrivals is concentrated on the third and fourth days of the Lunar New Year, said Senna Fernandes, who added that MGTO estimates that the timeframe this year will be similar to that of the past year.

This time, the mainland’s Spring Festival (aka Chinese New Year) Golden Week holiday lasts eight days, running from tomorrow to Saturday next week.

During last year’s Spring Festival Golden Week holiday, which lasted seven days, Macau recorded 451,000 visitor arrivals, according to MGTO data at that time. The daily average of visitor arrivals amounted to about 64,400 during last year’s Golden Week.

Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes talks to reporters after yesterday’s traditional ceremony for blessing the upcoming CNY float parade, at Sai Van Lake Square. – Photo: Yuki Lei

Speaking to the media after yesterday’s traditional blessing ceremony in Sai Van Lake Square for the city’s two upcoming float parades, Senna Fernandes highlighted a raft of activities which will be held during the Chinese New Year (CNY), saying that apart from those organised by MGTO, there will also be a host of sports, cultural and community activities.

In light of the upcoming 25th anniversary of Macau’s return to the motherland, many celebratory activities will be carried out this year, Senna Fernandes pointed out: “Activities for the whole of 2024 are one after another, hoping to create a lively atmosphere.”

When asked by reporters about Macau’s average room occupancy rate and hotel room rates during the CNY holiday, Senna Fernandes said that hotel bookings during the Lunar New Year period exceeded 80 percent already last week. She forecast that the average room occupancy rate during the eight days of the Golden Week will reach 90 percent, with room rates on some specific days set to be higher than those on regular days. However, she also said that no “sky-high” room rates had been recorded so far.

During last year’s Spring Festival, Macau’s average room occupancy rate stood at 85.7 percent, according to MGTO data.

Last year, according to MGTO figures at that time, Macau’s average room rate reached 1,575 patacas during the Golden Week.

MGTO held a meeting with representatives of the hotel and travel agency sectors last month to urge them to “do a good job” in receiving tourists and, at the same time, local hotels, in collaboration with online booking platforms, have been urged to pay close attention to price fluctuations, in order to avoid “outrageous” room rates, the veteran tourism chief noted, promising that MGTO will keep in touch with the two sectors.

With the aim of encouraging tourists to visit a greater variety of Macau’s different neighbourhoods, Senna Fernandes called on shops to stay open, as much as possible, during the Lunar New Year holiday period, in order to boost the community economy and enjoy the special CNY atmosphere together with the tourists.

Meanwhile, this year’s two float parades involving about 1,000 performers from 30 groups from the mainland, Macau, Hong Kong and overseas will take place, respectively, in the city centre and the northern district next Monday and next Saturday, i.e., the 3rd and 8th days of the Chinese New Year.

The first float parade will start at 5:30 p.m. next Monday from Sai Van Lake Square at the southern tip of the peninsula, moving along Avenida Dr Sun Yat-Sen until they reach Macau Fisherman’s Wharf, while the second parade in the northern district will set off at 8 p.m. next Saturday  from the campus of University of St. Joseph and St. Joseph Diocesan College Six, passing along Estrada Marginal da Ilha Verde, Avenida do Conselheiro Borja, Estrada do Arco, Estrada da Areia Preta, Avenida de Venceslau de Morais, Rua Quatro do Bairro da Areia Preta, Avenida da Longevidade and Rua do Mercado de Iao Hon, ending at Iao Hon Market Garden. 


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