World Tourism Day, taking place today, is set to be marked with a series of activities, organised by Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO). This year’s theme of ‘Sustainable Tourism – A Tool For Development’ is set to be commemorated through four main activities, conducted by the Office:
Welcome souvenirs for lucky tourists at Macao Ferry Terminal;
MGTO Tourist Information counters present souvenirs to visitors throughout the day;
Tray Race with competitors from the F&B industry of the MSAR and;
World Tourism Day Dinner Banquet with local travel trade partners and media representatives
Together with the gaming industry, tourism is one of the main pillars o the city’s economy, with the GDP of exports of tourism services hitting MOP60.98 billion in 2016, according to the Statistics and Census Bureau (DSEC).
For the year 2016, the city received MOP52.66 billion in spending by visitors, with the hotel industry alone raking in MOP28.47 billion.
Currently, according to data collected by the Macau Hotel Association, there are 40 3-star to 5-star hotels in the territory, with new major resorts Grand Lisboa Palace and MGM Cotai set to open this year and next, respectively.
Despite the significant supply of hotels in the city, the average hotel occupancy rate in 2016 stood at 85.4 per cent, while the hotel sector employed more than 50,000 workers in the third quarter of 2016, according to DSEC.
Mainland tourists prevail
The city welcomed over 30.9 million tourists last year, of whom 20.45 million are Mainland tourists. During the first eight months of this year, 14.36 million tourists from the Mainland entered the MSAR.
Brokerage firm Sanford C. Bernstein Co. LLC stated in its recent report that the spending of Mainland tourists will increase by MOP411 billion from 2017 to 2025, an increase of 160 per cent.
‘With rising incomes, rising passport issuance and easing visa restrictions, Chinese travellers are going to become more common in just about every market globally in the coming year,’ wrote the brokerage.
The per capita spending of Mainland visitors in the MSAR last year, as shown by DSEC data, stood at MOP1,975, the highest among visitors to Macau.