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Fewer tourists but in equal proportion

Macau recovered around 89 per cent of the tourist traffic recorded up to the end of November 2019. The percentage of domestic and foreign tourists remained practically unchanged. Only the Philippines, India and Indonesia saw a higher number of arrivals compared to the year before the pandemic. Hong Kong came close.

Guilherme Rego

After three years conditioned by pandemic restrictions, Macau’s tourism sector has returned to unhindered operation. The first year after the pandemic was frankly positive, with a recovery of 88.7 per cent in tourism volume by the end of November 2019. This means that the Macau SAR only needed to attract 326,500 more visitors to fully recover.

There were 2,030,742 visitors from Mainland China, corresponding to 87 per cent of the total. Hong Kong was very close, reaching 97 per cent, with Taiwan having a slightly slower recovery, as it is still only at 66 per cent. Greater China accounted for around 82 per cent of the total volume of visitors, something that remains practically unchanged when looking at the same period in 2019.

This means that the percentage of foreign visitors was also the same as in 2019, contributing around 8 per cent to arrivals in the MSAR. Among foreign markets, only three grew compared to 2019: the Philippines (117 per cent), Indonesia (125 per cent) and India (142 per cent). What used to be Macau’s biggest tourist market outside Greater China, South Korea, is at 70 per cent.

Most utilized borders

The vast majority of visitors arrive by land (80 per cent), given the proximity to inland China and Hong Kong, Macau’s two biggest markets. These two alone accounted for 94 per cent of land border crossings – something that, once again, remains unchanged from 2019.

Entries by sea reached 74 per cent of the figures reached in the same period in 2019. Only 7 per cent of visitors arrived in Macau by sea in 2023.
Macau International Airport has had the most difficulty recovering its previous passenger volume, with a recovery of just 68 per cent. Only 8 per cent of visitors arrived in the MSAR via the airport this year.

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Generalist media, focusing on the relationship between Portuguese-speaking countries and China.

Plataforma Studio


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