A 21% year-on-year increase in visitor arrivals during the first quarter of 2019 yielded a mere 3% increase in non-gaming spending in Macau, according to the latest results of the visitor expenditure survey released yesterday by the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC).
The survey data shows that visitor arrivals in the first quarter grew 21.2% to 10.36 million, while total spending (excluding gaming expenses) increased by 3.1 percent year-on-year to reach MOP16.93 billion. Spending of overnight visitors (MOP12.92 billion) and same-day visitors (MOP4.01 billion) rose by 1.9% and 7.2% year- on-year respectively.
The results confirm earlier reports from the Times that per capita spending of visitors had fallen significantly in the last quarter.
According to DSEC, per capita spending of visitors was down almost 15% year-on-year to MOP1,634 in the first quarter, led by a drop in the spending of mainland visitors, which declined 17.2% to MOP1,849.
Spending of those from Guangdong province (MOP1,789) and Fujian province (MOP1,140) fell by 9% and 14.1% respectively in the same period. Per-capita spending of visitors from Singapore (MOP1,682) and Taiwan (MOP1,460) registered declines, whereas spending of those from Japan (MOP1,612) and South Korea (MOP1,429) rose by 5.5% and 2.9% respectively.
The data also sheds light on what types of goods and services interested visitors to Macau in the first quarter. Visitors primarily spent on shopping (48.4% of total), accommodation (25.1%) and food and beverages (18.9%).
The per-capita shopping spending of visitors decreased by 13.2% year-on-year to MOP790, with spending on local food products (MOP234) and, cosmetics and perfume (MOP220) falling by 19.2% and 9.7% respectively. Analyzed by main purpose of visit, the per-capita spending of visitors coming for MICE events (MOP4,358) surged almost 50%, whereas spending of those coming for shopping (MOP2,549) and vacation (MOP2,172) dropped by 1.8% and 13.1% respectively. DB