With the introduction of various family-oriented resorts in the Cotai Strip, more diversified tourist base is embracing Macau as a destination, as compared to the casino crowd in the downtown area of old. The wide range of activities offered in these resorts, from gaming to non-gaming, have led tourists to visit Macau. The newly-opened resorts induced demand, notably tourists from mainland China, South Korea, and Japan, which greatly improved hotel performance in both occupancy and average rate (ADR). Macau Visitor Arrivals The results of diversifying Macau tourism from solely a gaming hub to a family-resort destination seemed to be well-received among travellers, given that visitor arrivals in 2017 reached a record high at 32.6 million, a 5.4% YoY increase. As more resorts are being introduced in the Cotai area, such as The Parisian Macao, Studio City, and MGM Cotai, these resorts increasingly target customers who enjoy non-gambling activities.
Compared to the previous quarters in the year which also registered positive growths, the fourth quarter registered the strongest YoY growth of 8.4%. The top five key source markets remained the same as the fourth quarter of 2016 (in order of size): mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan.
Good news for the city is that the family-oriented resort concept is particularly appealing to Chinese travellers, as their spending pattern trend is evolving from shopping to intangible experiences, such as dining, entertainment, and cultural activities. In the fourth quarter, Macau received an impressive 14.9% YoY growth of 6.1 million mainland Chinese visitors, credited to the varied types of attractions from glamourous resorts and entertainment shows to historical tours.
The persistent trend of rising South Korean visitors coming to Macau could be seen in the fourth quarter, recording a remarkable growth of 25.4% YoY to 230,000. The positive impacts of the Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO)’s successful marketing initiatives in promoting the city as a travel destination, Korean TV shows and drama shoots in Macau, and more importantly, the increased in direct and low-cost flights from South Korea made Macau a viable getaway destination.
Thanks to the increasing interest among Japanese travellers to Hong Kong and proximity to Macau, Japanese travellers continued to post stable YoY growth of 2.7% to 88,000. However, both Hong Kong and Taiwan noticed a decline in visitation, by 7.1% and 2.8% YoY, respectively. In a larger scale, Southeast Asia and South Asian countries such as Thailand, Singapore, India, and Malaysia witnessed a decrease in visitor arrivals in Macau by -26.3%, -17.7%, -5.8%, and -2.2%, respectively.
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