Published on : Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) held its Annual Press Conference today and announced that Macao’s total visitor arrivals in 2016 hit a record of 30 million and more, slightly up by 0.8% from a year earlier. Regardless of the minor increase in total visitor arrivals last year, the sum of overnight-stay visitors outweighed that of same-day visitors for the first time over the last ten years, registering a year-on-year increase of nearly 10%. Looking forward in 2017, MGTO will complete its formulation of the “Macao Tourism Industry Development Master Plan” and carry out different new and ongoing projects to ensure diversified and sustainable development of Macao’s tourism industry, in parallel with the tourism development goals in the Five-Year Development Plan formulated by the SAR Government and its progress of building Macao into a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure.
During the press conference, MGTO Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes presented a summary of last year’s tourism performance in Macao and an introduction of MGTO’s work plan in 2017. Over 400 participants were present in the conference including members of the travel trade and about 80 members of the press in Macao and from the Mainland, Hong Kong and neighboring regions, comprising foreign correspondents based in Macao and Hong Kong as well.
Macao tourism situation in 2016 (preliminary statistics)
In 2016, Macao’s economy remained in a period of adjustment. Nevertheless, the preliminary data show that international and total visitor arrivals in Macao both registered a year-on-year increase, so did the sum of visitors from the Greater China markets. International visitor arrivals were up by 8%.
Macao’s total visitor arrivals slightly went up by 0.8% from 2015 to a record of 30.95 million in 2016. Close to 28 million visitors came from the Greater China markets, a slight increase of 0.1%, whereas international visitor arrivals surged by 7.9%.
The Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan remained the top three visitor markets to Macao. Despite the slight decline in the number of Hong Kong visitors, both the Mainland and Taiwan markets registered growth. Macao welcomed over 20 million Mainland visitors last year, up by 0.2%, with 44% of them coming from Guangdong Province. As for independent visitors from the Mainland, the record reached nearly 9.56 million, accounting for 46% of Mainland visitor arrivals. An increase of 8.8% was recorded for the Taiwan market, whereas the sum of Hong Kong visitors dropped slightly by 1.8%.
With regard to the international markets, Korea still ranked the first among the rest, contributing over 660,000 visitors to Macao last year, with a robust growth of nearly 20%. Southeast Asian markets also saw a good performance. The sum of visitors from Thailand marked the largest growth of over 30% among the top ten source markets. The numbers of visitors from Indonesia and the Philippines rose by 11.7% and 3.7% respectively, whereas Japanese visitor arrivals surged by 6.5%. There was also a growth of 4.6% in the number of visitors from the United States, the only long-haul source market among the top ten.
Overnight-stay visitor arrivals outweighed same-day visitors for seven consecutive months
The preliminary data show that the total of overnight-stay visitors in 2016 exceeded 15.7 million, up by 9.8%, accounting for 50.7% of total visitor arrivals. For the first time in the last ten years, overnight-stay visitor arrivals exceeded same-day visitor arrivals last year, a situation lasting for seven consecutive months since last June. Throughout the year, the average length of stay of overnight-stay visitors stood at 2.1 days and that of visitors in general was 1.2 days (increase of 0.1 day).
The preliminary figures indicate that the total of hotel establishment overnight guests increased by 14% to a record of around 12 million last year. Affected mainly by a decline in gaming expense, the total visitor expenditure between January and September 2016 amounted to 21.6 billion US dollars, a period-on-period decrease of 7.1%.
In terms of the hotel sector, the average occupancy rate of hotel establishments in Macao in 2016 ranged from 82% to 84%, a year-on-year increase of 1 to 3 percentage points. The average room rate of three to five star hotels last year was 161.1 US dollars, down by 12.7%.
Up to the end of 2016, there are 113 hotel establishments in Macao supplying a total of 37,634 rooms, a year-on-year increase of nearly 14%. Among them, there are 47 establishments of budget accommodation with a total of 1,513 rooms. In 2016, MGTO imposed provisional measures for the first time to shut down a five-star hotel which had committed serious administrative irregularities.
MGTO’s Tourist Information counters handled over 1.45 million visitor inquiries, material requests and suggestions last year. With regard to measures against illegal accommodation, the Office carried out 1,082 apartment inspections and sealed 164 apartments throughout the year, while the interdepartmental task force carried out 415 joint actions. The Office also carried out other inspections including over 2,300 inspections on business establishments and over 1,400 inspections at ports and tourist spots.