The Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) claimed Wednesday that less than 5% of visitors to Macau are there specifically to gamble, describing the city’s image as having changed dramatically.
The ambitious figure was stated by MGTO Deputy Director Cheng Wai Tong during an appearance on Radio Macau.
“Today, 85% of visitors to Macau are young people aged between 18 and 35, mostly women, and their spending is mainly on shopping and dining,” Cheng said.
“Less than 5% of visitors come to Macau specifically to gamble, so the image of Macau as a tourist city has changed. In recent years, the MGTO has launched more online promotions targeting the younger segment of the tourism industry, and Macau’s tourism products have become more youthful.”
On Macau’s gambling image, Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong stated in the Legislative Assembly on 24 November last year that “the non-gaming offerings of Macau’s integrated resorts should form another key sector of the SAR’s economic development in the next decade, and Macau should get rid of its image as a gambling city.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the total spending of visitors to Macau in 2019, excluding gaming, was MOP$64 billion (US$7.9 billion), however gross gaming revenue was MOP$293 billion (US$36.3 billion).
Cheng said on Wednesday that MGTO had set aside a budget of MOP$180 million to subsidize tour groups.
“The target group includes mainland, Taiwan and international tour groups. MGTO will also review the effectiveness of the subsidy in early March,” he said.
“In the three years since the pandemic, Macau travel agencies have needed the government’s support to restore their operational capacity and to make the price of travel to Macau affordable.
“The MGTO has been discussing with Air Macau to increase the number of international flights every week so as to increase the number of days international visitors can stay in Macau.”