Visitor arrivals reach 30 million as of September

Visitor arrivals totaled 2.76 million in September 2019, up by 8% year-on-year, according to the latest data from the government, bringing the total to over 30 million arrivals in the city since the beginning of the year.

Visitors from Hong Kong (564,700) and Taiwan (88,300) grew by 27.2% and 6.4% respectively, according to data released by the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC).

Visitors from the SAR’s primary tourism market, mainland China, increased by 5.7% year-on-year to 1.92 million, with 49% of them coming from Guangdong province (942,000). Mainland visitors travelling under the Individual Visit Scheme (796,000) increased by 1%.

Political commentator Larry So previously told the Times that the SAR may expect an increase in the number of tourists from China, as some may prefer to visit Macau rather than Hong Kong due to the ongoing protests.

Tourist arrivals from the Greater Bay Area also jumped by 36% year-on-year to 855,000. Those coming from Zhuhai (269,300) and Guangzhou (167,900) soared by 49.9% and 26.8% respectively.

Analyzed by mode of transport, visitor arrivals by land surged by 32.5% year-on-year to 2.05 million in September.

Approximately 287,300 visitors arrived in the SAR via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.

The director of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, had previously confirmed that Macau is expected to receive 40 million visitors – or close to that figure – by the end of the year.

The revised projection follows the estimate of 38 million, which was made during the second quarter and is based on the popularity of the year-old bridge.

However, MGTO could still not predict whether the city would also reach the 40 million mark in tourist arrivals next year, citing different factors, including the trade war and the social unrest in Hong Kong.

“We cannot expect tourism to be growing all the time, so there will be times with adverse factors, and we need to prepare ourselves for any situation,” the tourism chief told the press earlier this month. LV

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