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Golden Week kicks off

More individual tourists for the first few days, followed by an influx of package tours to dominate this year’s Golden Week, says expert. An annual increase of 5 pct in visitor numbers is expected, say authorities. Incoming visitors are anticipating increased hotel prices and expecting to spend more on their holidays.

More package tour visitors will come to Macau in the coming days, while the first few days of the Golden Week holiday will primarily see the arrival of individual travelers, according to the President of the Macau Travel Industry Council, Andy Wu Keng Kuong.
“This is because they mostly visit Hong Kong first and then come to Macau after a few days,” Wu told Business Daily.
Yesterday marked China’s National Day and the first day of the eight-day Golden Week holiday in mainland China.
The Public Security Police Force (PSP) told the press yesterday that the city is expecting a year-on-year increase of 5 per cent in arrival numbers during this year’s National Day Golden Week, local broadcaster TDM Radio reported.
The PSP also revealed that the coming three days (October 3 to 5) would be the peak days for crossings at the Border Gate.
Meanwhile, when asked about the cancellation of 18 flights between Hong Kong and South Korea as well as Japan by the flight carrier HK Express, Wu said the impact would be more significant in Hong Kong than in Macau, since Macau also has flights connecting the two destinations.
Given that South Korea also has a 10-day holiday at the same time as Golden Week in mainland China, Wu said the actual numbers of Korean package tours visiting the city would only be available after the holiday.
On the other hand, Wu told Business Daily that the number of local residents travelling outside of the MSAR over the past weekend period was not significant.
“It’s not a long holiday and most of them don’t travel by tours,” said Wu. “So the growth in the number of tours outside of Macau by local residents is not big.”
Wu added that local residents tended to spend their long weekend in places such as Japan, South Korea and in the Asia-Pacific region.

Tourists accept increased hotel room prices
The majority of tourists that Business Daily spoke to who are going to stay overnight in the city during Golden Week, noted that they predict growth in the city’s hotel room prices for the period.
A visitor surnamed Yuan told Business Daily that they were predicting to spend about MOP2,000 (US$249) for a night at the Parisian Macao.
A majority of the tourists interviewed also noted that it was not their first time to visit the city. A tourist surnamed Qiu, coming to the MSAR with his three other family members, said they visit Macau several times a year. “We have relatives here,” said Qiu, revealing that the group was planning to spend MOP1,000 to MOP2,000 per person.
In general, tourists who Business Daily spoke to said that their individual spending ranged from between MOP1,000 and MOP5,000.
One of the visitors from Guangzhou surnamed Yao, noted that she was not satisfied with the operations by the authorities at the Border Gate.
“I was holding my passport instead of the entry permit [for travelling to and from Hong Kong and Macau],” said Ms. Yao. “I wasn’t informed that I needed to provide my itinerary before I queued in the line, so I needed to queue up again and it took so long […]”.
Ms. Yao said she came to Macau by plane to the Macau International Airport, travelling on to another destination, but would stay half a day in the city.
She also revealed that it had taken her five hours to arrive to Zhuhai from Guangzhou by shuttle bus, a journey that usually takes two hours on normal days.