Visitors arrivals by sea fall 39.5pct y-on-y in 2019

The number of visitor arrivals in Macau by sea has declined by 39.5 per cent year-on-year to about 6.2 million, data provided by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) today revealed.

In total, the number of visitors disembarking at the Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal fell 41.7 per cent year-on-year to over 3.5 million, with visitor numbers arriving at the Taipa Ferry Terminal falling 36.3 per cent year-on-year.

The drop in the number of ferry arrivals has been previously attributted to the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HZMB) in October, 2018.

Recently ferry operator TurboJet has also mentioned an ‘unprecedented socio-economic environment’ that has led to the number of Hong Kong visitor arrivals to decline sharply, greatly impacting the company’s business and leading to the decision to implement wage cuts that resulted in a labour dispute with its employees.

Hong Kong experienced almost six months of continuous protests, with the Chinese economy having also been greatly impacted by the ongoing trade dispute with the US.

Shun Tak Group – TurboJet’s parent company – indicated in its latest financial report that the number of passengers carried by TurboJet in its Hong Kong-Macau route had dropped 32 per cent year-on-year to some 4.6 million passengers during the first half of this year precisely because of the HZMB opening

This decrease led to the ferry company – the brand name of Shun Tak-China Travel Shipping Investments Limited – to report some HK$70 million in losses in the first half of 2019, after recording some HK$186 million in profits in the same period last year.

MGTO data also indicated that visitor arrivals by land jumped by 32.2 per cent year-on-year to 29,2 million in 2019, with those arriving through the Border Gate growing by 14.9 per cent to 20,9 million.

Last year visitors entering via the HZMB also rose by 18.4 per cent year-on-year to about 5.3 million, while arrivals by air increased by 16.7 per cent year-on-year to 3,8 million.

Overall, 2019 saw a 10.1 per cent year-on-year rise in visitor arrivals, with more than 39.4 million arrivals recorded.

Visitors from mainland China (27,923,219), Hong Kong (7,354,094) and Taiwan (1,063,355) went up by 10.5 per cent, 16.2 per cent and 0.2 per cent, respectively,