Macau set for economic recovery as casino concessions begin and travel gets back to normal

31 Jan 2023
Bela Vista

The six gaming companies have pledged to invest a combined 118.8 billion patacas during the next 10 years in such key areas as entertainment, sports events, arts and culture, health care and community tourism. The operation of six casino operators in the territory, from which most licensing fees will be directed towards non-gaming endeavours and the development of international tourism over the next 10 years. In the short term, the new licences will promote the recovery of Macau’s economy, and in the medium and longer term, they will inject new vitality and variety into the territory’s tourism and leisure industry, fostering more diversified, healthy and sustainable economic growth that aligns with Macau’s development plans. This commitment will enhance Macau’s standing as an international tourist and leisure destination, help the territory to better develop foreign tourist markets, optimise its visitor sources, attract more inbound tourism, stabilise local employment, and overall promote economic recovery, ushering in a slew of development opportunities.

Manifest the dynamic of “tourism +” and expand visitor source

Welcoming the arrival of the first Spring Festival Golden Week since the pandemic border measures loosened, Macao radiated the fascinating glamour of “tourism +” thoroughly. Visitor figures have surpassed the expectation. Spanning seven days (21 – 27 January 2023) in the Mainland, the Spring Festival Golden Week has come to an end. According to the preliminary statistics, Macao recorded 451,000 visitor arrivals in total during the period, remarkably up by 297.0 % over the Spring Festival Golden Week of last year. The average occupancy rate of local hotel establishments reached 85.7%.

Since the pandemic border measures loosened in Macao, Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) has kicked off its advance promotional scheme and various special travel offers to attract a wider spectrum of visitors. During Chinese New Year, governmental entities, industry operators and community organizations presented a kaleidoscope of festivities, which, along with the all-rounded marketing campaign, attracted a great number of visitors from the Mainland and Hong Kong to Macao. The city was bustling with life and commerce during the Spring Festival, spurring tourism and economic revival.

Visitor arrivals in Macao reached 451,000 this Spring Festival Golden Week. The figure encompasses 265,000 and 165,000 visitors from the Mainland and Hong Kong respectively. Average daily visitor arrivals throughout the Spring Festival Golden Week reached 64,000, a year-on-year increase of 297.0%. The daily average of Hong Kong visitors marked the enormous increase of 2,601.8%. Macao welcomed over 90,000 visitors on the 3rd day of Lunar New Year (24 January), the highest single-day record since the first outbreak of the pandemic.

The satisfactory tourism figures over the Spring Festival Golden Week mirrors visitors’ high intentions to travel to Macao during Chinese New Year and opt for a first-hand experience of the city’s glamour in “tourism +”. The bustling scene reflects a positive outlook for the tourism and related industries.

Amid a gradual relaxation of customs clearance at various ports, companies have begun to recruit more labour, and increased movement of people will follow, greatly increasing demand for housing in Macau. Bela Vista Property has full confidence in the territory’s real estate market, property prices starting to rise, and market sentiment has already started to improve – and both are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels in the near future.