According to data released by the China Tourism Academy, the number of mainland Chinese visitors received by Macau is nearly twice as much as Hong Kong. Macau welcomed about 50.9 percent of all outbound Chinese travelers in 1H23, while Hong Kong received nearly 26.7 percent of the outbound travelers.

The research team from the China Tourism Academy notes that the outbound tourism destinations received a total of 40.4 million mainland tourists in 1H23.

Short-distance outbound travel was the first to recover, with 94 percent of outbound travelers choosing Asian regions or countries as their destinations.

However, some Chinese travel agencies told the media that Macau became popular due to its ‘low-cost’ appeal, as Macau takes advantage of its proximity to the source market, making it possible for travelers to do a ‘one day trip’ instead of staying overnight.

A study from the same institution suggests that East Asia and Southeast Asia, which have convenient transportation, visa options, and rich tourism resources, receive the most outbound tourists. Apart from Macau, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, other neighboring countries such as Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Vietnam are preferred by mainland Chinese tourists.

In an analysis of the source of outbound tourism, the study finds that tourists from economically developed provinces and cities dominate the outbound tourism market. ‘The TOP20 source cities accounted for 81.90 percent of outbound tourists, with first-tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen accounting for 35.6 percent.’

Second-tier cities such as Zhuhai, Zhongshan, Foshan, and Quanzhou, located in the Pearl River Delta, all account for a higher proportion of outbound tourists. Zhuhai itself, the neighboring city of Macau, accounted for 27.84 percent of the tourists.

The Guangdong government issued an alert earlier this month, warning that it has experienced a record high volume of visa applications for Macau and Hong Kong. The authorities noted a significant surge in application volume since the start of the summer holidays. In response, they are working on expanding the system’s capacity.

Viviana Chan
Viviana Chan is an editor, interpreter, and journalist. With over a decade of experience, she writes in English, Chinese, and Portuguese. Viviana started her career in Macau-based newspapers, where she became passionate about the region's social, financial, and cultural development. Her writing focuses on the economy, emerging industries, gaming development, political affairs, and cross cultural-exchange in the business and cultural domains. She is avid for news and eager to discover and cover stories that generate public relevance.