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Lusa - Business News - Macau: Record numbers visit region in 2017, seen growing up to 3% in 2018

Macau, China, Jan. 17 (Lusa) - Macau received a record number of visitors last year, according to preliminary figures released on Wednesday by the region’s tourism directorate, which foresees further growth of 1% to 3% this year.
Last year’s figure of more than 32.6 million visitors was up 5.4% on 2016, according to tourism director Helena de Senna Fernandes, speaking at the directorate’s annual news conference.
Of the total, visitors from outside China totalled 3.1 million, also a record and up 6.2% on 2016. The number-one source of foreign visitors was South Korea, with more than 870,000, up by almost one third in 2016.
But the biggest market overall remains mainland China, from which more than 20 million visitors came last year (61.3% of the total), up 8.5% last year. It was followed by Hong Kong and Taiwan, although the numbers of visitors there were down 4% and 1.3% respectively.
The proportion of visitors to Macau who stayed overnight also rose to 52.9% - another record. The region’s 37,901 rooms, in 116 hotels, welcomed more than 13 million guests, up 8% than 2016.
Last year the average price per room for three- to five-star hotels was $160.30, down 0.2%. The average occupancy rate was above 88%, up more than five percentage point on the year.
Looking forward, Macau is seeking to work with the government in Beijing in its implementation of the One Belt, One Road trade project, by “exploring together international tourism itineraries and products and promote multi-destination itineraries.”
With this in mind, the directorate is to maintain its support to tourism internships in Portuguese-language countries, from this year including Sao Tome and Principe, which last year established diplomatic relations with China after cutting off ties with Taiwan.
In addition, the directorate aims to make the most of “Macau unique advantages” in the framework of the strategy of the Great Bay of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau, which is seeking to become a metropolitan region with global ambitions. Against that backdrop, the Macau authorities want to “promote culture, sports and gastronomy products” as well as “creating a brand of maritime tourism” this year.
Macau's economy relies heavily on the casino business, which draws above all Chinese from the mainland, where gambling is illegal.


Agency : LUSA

Date : 2018-01-18 08:38:26


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