The police released immigration figures yesterday for the three-day weekend holiday period of the Tuen Ng Festival. The preliminary figures showed that Macau had taken in almost 60% more tourists than the same holiday period last year.
The Public Security Police Force (PSP), which is responsible for immigration controls, conducts headcounts at the border every day. According to its data, nearly 620,000 people entered Macau through the Border Gate. Almost the same amount of people exited the city via this particular border. As usual, it proved the busiest crossing.
More people are flying directly out of Macau during holidays. The number of passengers using the airport increased 17% in the first quarter this year, while the airport handled a total of 78,276 passengers over the three-day period.
The world’s longest sea-
crossing bridge handled 147,189 users in total – around 73,000 respectively for arrivals and departures – during the festival.
All eight border checkpoints in Macau handled approximately 1.74 million crossings in total over the three days.
The sharp rise in visitors has been a pressing topic in Macau for both the public and lawmakers, who have suggested that the city is reaching its visitor capacity. According to a study conducted by the Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT), the “optimal” daily tourist figure stands at 110,000.
The average number of tourists per day was about 130,000 over the three- day Tuen Ng Festival holiday, considerably above the suggested limit.
Lawmaker Ella Lei previously said at the Legislative Assembly that the government must take other measures to better manage local tourism.
The Macau Government Tourism Office is currently studying the feasibility of introducing a visitor levy as one way to resolve the so-called ‘overtourism’ problem. Staff reporter