New transit visas not impeding Chinese visitation

Union Gaming believes the stricter rules and shorter stay period mandated by the new transit visas are not having an impact on the number of mainland visitors to Macau.
The largest source of visitation to Macau, mainland China, grew 12.7 percent in July and 14.4 percent in the period from January to July, both figures year-on-year. That’s almost two times the average growth of arrivals here: Macau visitation went up 7.3 percent last month and 8 percent in the first seven months of the year. Mainland Chinese tourists travelling under the Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) grew 19 percent in July and 23 percent since the beginning of the year. ‘Mainland China visitors travelling under IVS are growing strongly and have recorded a year-on-year increase for 26 consecutive months’, said the brokerage firm yesterday.
Union Gaming thinks many mainlanders that used to travel to Macau under the ‘zero-fare tour group’ arrangement that was banned in October 2013 are probably using the IVS scheme to come here contributing to the solid increase in IVS travellers. ‘Despite the implementation of restrictions on the so-called transit visa scheme we do not believe this had a material impact on the total number of visitors’, Union Gaming declared.
The brokerage firm also predicts that despite the stricter visa policy Chinese visitation to Macau is likely to continue to grow in the future with the new infrastructure projects bedding in in China. The expansion of the Barrier Gate and Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Railway, already operational, will boost the number of visitors to Macau and the number of mass market gamblers.