Tourist arrivals decreased by 13.5 percent year-on-year to 2,270,585 in March 2015, the lowest number since October 2012, according to information released by the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC). Same-day visitors totaled 1,242,058 (54.7 pct of the total), down by 10.9 pct. The average length of stay of visitors decreased by 0.1 days year-on-year to 0.9 days; overnight and same-day visitors had an average stay of 1.9 days and 0.2 days respectively.
Analyzed by place of residence, tourists from mainland China decreased notably by 17.6 pct year-on-year to 1,457,641. These visitors came primarily from Guangdong Province (639,835), Fujian Province (65,433) and Hunan Province (53,592). The number of mainland visitors traveling under the Individual Visit Scheme dropped by 9.7 pct to 666,319.
Similarly to the trend in China, visitors from most countries and regions recorded year-on-year decreases. Tourists from Hong Kong (509,699), Taiwan (73,649) and Japan (28,459) decreased in number by 2.4 pct, 4.7 pct and 6 pct respectively year-on-year, while visitors from the Republic of Korea (43,613) represented the only increase of 7.4 pct. Long-haul travellers from the United States (15,230), Australia (7,405), Canada (6,446) and the United Kingdom (5,300) registered year-on-year declines.
Regarding modes of transport, visitor arrivals by land totaled 1,245,657, down by 12.4 pct year-on-year. Visitors entering through the Border Gate accounted for 88.9 pct of the total, amounting to 1,106,957, a figure which was down by 13.4 pct. Meanwhile, those arriving via the Cotai border dropped by 2.4 pct to 136,683. Tourist arrivals by sea decreased by 17.2 pct year-on-year to 859,501, of which visitors entering via the Outer Harbour (532,130) and the Provisional Ferry Terminal in Taipa (306,340) dropped by 15.5 pct and 17.1 pct respectively. Visitor arrivals by air decreased slightly by 0.3 pct year-on-year to 165,427, with 164,606 entering via the airport, up by 0.6 pct year-on-year.
In the first quarter of 2015, tourist arrivals totaled 7,412,221, down by 3.6 pct year-on-year, with same-day visitors increasing by 1.7 pct to 4,193,274 (56.6 pct of the total). Visitors from mainland China (5,025,943), Hong Kong (1,505,695) and Taiwan (224,808) dropped by 2.9 pct, 4.0 pct and 1.5 pct respectively year-on-year, while those from the Republic of Korea (168,644) increased by 10.8 pct. Moreover, long-haul visitor numbers from the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom recorded year-on-year decreases.
Fewer bookings for Labor Day weekend
This year has seen fewer hotel rooms than usual booked for the upcoming three-day Labor Day weekend in Macau, according to a Hong Kong Economic Journal report.
The neighboring region’s newspaper said that it had conducted its own survey and concluded that, so far, “only five of the 18 resorts and hotels managed by Macau’s top six casino groups have been fully booked for May 1–3, compared with 13 during the same period last year.”
Andy Wu Keng-kuong, president of the Travel Industry Council of Macau, is cited as saying that the council expects a 7-percent fall in room rates for the Labor Day weekend. Hotel operators are not likely to raise prices during the holiday period.
The report also brings up views expressed by securities analysts from UBS AG and CIMB Group, who said that demand for hotel rooms in Macau has been decreasing as the purchasing power of mainland tourists reportedly declines.