Tourism Office director says visitor numbers are likely to drop 3 percent year on year.
Macau.- Macau’s local tourism authority has forecast a year on year decline in visitor numbers for 2020.
Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), said in a press conference that the city could see a “3 percent” year-on-year decline in visitor arrivals for the full calendar year 2020.
She also noted that it was the first time in several years that a downward trend in visitor numbers was expected.
“From what we saw, the external economic environment is not that stable. And what will evolve from the China-U.S. trade war remains to be seen,” she told the media.
Macau received more than 39.4 million tourists in 2019, a nearly 10-percent rise on the 35.8-million visitor arrivals recorded in 2018, according to official data.
She also noted that her office saw “no sign of recovery” in the short term regarding the number of mainland Chinese visitors coming to city via neighbouring Hong Kong by means of Hong Kong-Macau joint tour groups.
Such trade has been hit by the months-long protests in Hong Kong, noted a recent report on the Macau gaming market’s prospects in 2020 from brokerage Jefferies Group LLC.
While the city’s Statistics and Census Service has yet to release Macau’s December visitor arrivals, the MGTO warned that the 12th month of 2019 would register a year-on-year “double-digit” decline.