Traditionally the strongest week of the year for Macau’s leisure and tourism operators, this year’s Chinese New Year Golden Week failed to shine with just 90,615 visitor arrivals across the seven days.
The devastatingly low figure represents a 65.3% decline on the 261,069 who arrived during last year’s CNY Golden week holiday and is far below the 1.21 million who arrived over the same period in 2019.
Last Sunday’s 17,357 arrivals was the highest daily figure in this year’s holiday period, while the week concluded on Wednesday with just 13,232 arrivals on Day 7, down 26.1% year-on-year.
The absence of most ferry services to Macau meant that land crossings were the most common form of arrival: 54,951 entered via the Gongbei Border Gate and another 22,986 via Hengqin Port.
Not surprisingly given border restrictions, 82,190 visitor arrivals were from mainland China, representing a 44.9% year-on-year decline.
Numbers have been suppressed this year due to a recent COVID -19 outbreak across parts of mainland China, which resulted in the government issuing a “stay in place” policy discouraging its citizens from traveling for Chinese New Year.
However, it is hoped travel will pick up in the coming weeks with infection rates having fallen significantly.
The Macau government also revealed this week it is discussing the resumption of e-visa for the Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) with the mainland government, which is seen as a key step in boosting visitation to the SAR.