The number of visitor arrivals to Macau has increased by 30.7% in 2021, despite the current COVID-19 pandemic and strict entry restrictions in the city. The new figures were released by the local government.
After the pandemic led to a plunge in visitation from almost 40 million in 2019 to 5.8 million in 2020, the total tally has improved to more than 7.7 million in 2021. About 91.4 per cent of total visitors came from mainland China. The Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) explained this growth with its “efforts in organizing several mega-events and activities in the city”.
Throughout the year, the MGTO has launched initiatives to improve the city’s image among potential tourists. These include a series of “Macau Weeks” to promote the city as a safe and quality destination.
These efforts seem to have paid off. In the end, the average daily volume of visitor arrivals exceeded 21,000 in 2021, with over 42,000 single-day visitor arrivals reported on both the first day of Labor Day Holidays (May 1) and New Year’s Eve (December 31).
The average length of stay of visitors also increased. “Overnight” visitors, 48% of all arrivals, stayed in the city for approximately 3.2 days, 14% more than in 2020. The average room rate of three- to five-star hotels was around MOP834.5 (US$103), some 9 per cent lower than in the previous year.
People also spent more while in Macau. Figures from the Macau Statistics and Census Office indicate that total visitor spending between January and September 2021 was over 94 billion patacas (about US$ 11 billion), an increase of more than 130% during this period.
The city has a three-point plan to boost tourism. “This year, under three major strategies, MGTO will expand its visitor source, boost tourism recovery and stimulate the community economy”, MGTO said.
The major strategies include enhancing the online and offline promotions; deepening the cross-sectoral “tourism integration” and boosting quality tourism development; strengthening regional cooperation and improving destination glamour.