Macau Q1 tourism spending falls

Macau tourist spending fell by 70.4 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2020, due mainly to a sharp decline in visitors in the quarter. 

The amount reached only MOP5 billion (US$62.8 million) in the quarter and excludes spending on gaming. 

Per capita spending of visitors fell by 4.8 percent year-on-year to MOP1,555.

This was primarily spent on shopping (43.3 percent of total), accommodation (27.4 percent), and food and beverage (22.9 percent).

The Statistics and Census Bureau said that spending was affected by the novel coronavirus pneumonia, which caused a “substantial decline” in visitor arrivals in the first quarter of 2020 – which was brought by the suspension of ferry services, reduced number of commercial flights, as well as tightened quarantine measures since late March. 

It also noted that data collection for Visitor Expenditure was suspended in February, and thus the results for the quarter were extrapolated from the results of January and March. 

In related news, the Macau Government Tourism Office said it plans to provide free half-day tours for overnight visitors once restrictions are lifted in some regions. 

The scheme is the second part of a three-stage plan to revive Macau’s tourism industry, which was revealed at the first plenary 2020 meeting of the Tourism Development Committee. 

The first stage will see the MGTO activate a scheme to support advanced promotions carried out by local trade or conducted overseas, while the third stage will see MGTO formulate recovery schemes in accordance with the progress of recovery in international markets.