Macau Gets Chinese New Year Boost

Bianca Munz | 14 February 2019

Macau sees Visitor Increase Over Chinese New Year
The world’s largest gaming hub, Macau, enjoyed a considerable uptick in visitors during the week-long Chinese New Year holiday. Hundreds of thousands of Mainland Chinese visitors typically arrive during the first week, making it a particularly strong period for Macau’s gaming industry. Taking advantage of the long holiday period, thousands of Mainland Chinese travellers use this time to journey to the city.

The Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) released data indicating that there was an increase of 26 percent in visitation during the first four days of the festive period (4-7 February), a notable rise from last year. The data, collected by the city’s Public Security Police and conveyed by the MGTO, put the number of China mainland visitors to Macau at nearly 900,000 over this year’s Chinese New Year period. The uptick in visitors becomes even more evident when compared to the 12 percent growth achieved the year before. The most recent statistics shows the total amount of visitors hosted by Macau during the seven-day holiday period reaching an impressive 1,213,487. An increase of 26.6 percent compared to 2018 visitor statistics.

Lack of High Rollers

The significant upsurge in Chinese New Year arrivals in Macau does not necessarily indicate an increase in gambling revenues. While the number of visitors and casual gamblers has grown, high rollers were in short supply at the tables. High rollers can skew casino revenue and the high-stakes action they engage in forms a significant part of the market.

Bridge Brings New Revenue

Since the opening of the new Hong Kong- Zhuhai- Macau Bridge in October last year, tourism from China has experienced a boost. A significant number of Mainland Chinese visitors to Macau are day-trippers, with many of them traveling to see the new bridge. While the new bridge has clearly encouraged more visits to Macau, the bulk of visitor traffic continues to come through the land crossing from Zhuhai to the Macau peninsula through the Gongbei border gate. 553,053 visitors from Mainland China passed through the Gongbei border gate during the seven-day Chinese New Year holiday period this year. With another 191,799 mainland visitors choosing to enter through the checkpoint at the Hong Kong- Zhuhai- Macau Bridge.

According to recent reports from media outlets such as GGRAsia, impressive occupancy numbers were reported by a number of five-star casino hotels. Over half of the 23 five-star hotels in Macau were reported to being fully booked four days before the Chinese New Year.


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