(Xinhua/Fei Maohua)

Visitor expenses drop 93.3pct y-on-y in Q3, excluding gambling

Spending by visitors to Macau in the third quarter of the year, excluding expenses on casino gambling, went down by 93.3 per cent from the same period last year, according to official figures released today (Thursday).

Visitor spending in the gaming capital of the world amounted to MOP1.01 billion, largely because of the drastic reduction in the arrival of tourists to Macau due to border restrictions imposed due to the pandemic.

Macau, which received about 40 million tourists last year, welcomed 4,019,104 visitors in the first nine months of this year, down 86.7 per cent compared to the same period in 2019.

According to the authorities, in the third quarter of 2020, “the per capita expenditure of visitors was MOP1,349, decreasing 12.0 per cent in annual terms”.

“Regarding the type of expenses, visitors spent essentially on shopping (66.9 per cent of the total), food (15.8 per cent) and accommodation (13.9 per cent), in the third quarter of this year”, reads the statement.

After the reopening of individual and group visas from mainland China to the territory on September 23, suspended since the beginning of the pandemic, the number of visitors to the gambling capital of the world has gradually increased, albeit slowly and far below the average of about three million visitors registered per month in 2019.

In mid-November, Macau recorded a daily average of tourists that exceeded 20,600 and during the first week of the month the hotel occupancy reached 45 per cent, a slight improvement when compared to October.

The data that was released on Wednesday, after the Council for the Development of Tourism, show that “until mid-November, the daily average exceeded 20,600 tourists, and on November 6, the highest number was registered with 25,444 visitors ”.

In the first week of November, according to data provided to the authorities by hotel establishments, the average occupancy rate in hotels was between 33 and 45 per cent.

These data represent a slight improvement compared to the daily average of around 19,000 visitors and 38.1 per cent of hotel occupancy rate recorded in October, a month that had also recorded “daily average of around 19,000 visitors, an increase of 26 per cent compared to the daily average for September ”.

Macau, which registered 46 Covid-19 cases, but has no active case or detected any local outbreak, was one of the first territories to be impacted by the economic crisis caused by the covid-19 pandemic.

Border restrictions and preventive measures have almost paralyzed the economy, which is driven by Chinese gambling and tourism, with casinos posting unprecedented losses.