Macau introduces survey on tourist tax

 Wednesday, May 22, 2019 


The Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) has introduced a survey on the probable introduction of a tourist tax to the city. The public opinion poll comprises case analysis and separately, questionnaire exercises to be carried on respectively among the locals of Macau, visitors to the city, and members of the travel trade, explained the tourism office in a Monday press release.


The poll of Macao residents – through an online questionnaire – started on Monday and continues till June 20th, inclusive. In the survey, one of the questions is about how revenue from any such tourism tax might be exhausted.


The opinions collected through this survey “will become a significant consideration in the study” about the probable introduction of a tourist tax to the city, said MGTO.


The bureau’s head, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, informed the reporters on Tuesday on the sidelines of the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) 2019, a casino industry trade show in Macau, that the government was quite unsure as to whether introduce a tourist tax to Macau or not.


“We are still collecting opinions,” Ms Senna Fernandes said. “There are different ideas, different opinions.”


She further added that the government had no plans so far on the way a tourist tax could be implemented in Macau that is what channel or channels to employed to charge such a levy on tourists.


Ms Senna Fernandes stated that in March MGTO’s study would see into the reasons why some destinations had introduced tourist taxes, and what had been the outcome of such policies so far.


Maximum gamblers in the casinos of Macau are tourists. Investment analysts nevertheless have observed in earlier commentary on Macau that there need not be a direct connection between tourist numbers to Macau and gaming spend in casinos. Research indicates that high-stakes play by a comparatively small number of visitors is still a significant component of the market.


In January Ms. Senna Fernandes had observed that the Macau authorities were predicting 2019 visitor tally to the city could be somewhere over 38 million. In last year, the aggregate number of visitor arrivals exceeded 35.80 million, an increase of 9.8 percent from 2017, according to official data.

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