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Last day of the year brings record number of visitors

Macau welcomed almost 175,000 visitors on Sunday, the highest daily figure since records began, according to official figures released by the Chinese region's Public Security Police (PSP)

In a statement, the PSP revealed that more than 687,500 people crossed the territory’s borders on 31 December, the second day of the New Year holidays, including the entry of almost 362,000 people, including 174,930 tourists.

The previous daily record, almost 161,200 visitors, had been set before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, on 2 October 2019, during the so-called ‘Golden Week’ of China’s National Day.

The ‘Golden Week’ on 1 October is the second largest mass movement in China, after the Lunar New Year period, the main traditional family festival, which takes place in January or February, depending on the lunar calendar.

The statement did not reveal the origin of the visitors to Macau, whose tourism sector is extremely dependent on mainland China.

However, the PSP revealed that more than two thirds of the visitors (almost 121,000) arrived in the city via the land borders with mainland China, while more than 29,100 crossed the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.

The highlight of New Year’s Eve in the Chinese region was a New Year’s Eve concert, which ended with a performance by French-Brazilian singer-songwriter Lia Sophia at Sai Van Lake Square.

The region had received almost 679,600 tourists during the Christmas season, between the Chinese region’s birthday on 20 December and the 26th – ten times more than in the same period in 2022.

The Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) revealed that hotel occupancy reached 90.8 per cent over the Christmas period (between 23 and 26 December).

In December 2022, the Chinese region announced the cancellation of most of the prevention and containment measures, after almost three years of strict restrictions, which included a ban on the entry of tourists from abroad.

In early January 2023, the Chinese region opened its borders to all foreigners, including tourists, lifting a ban that had lasted almost three years.

With the end of the restrictions, Macau received 25.3 million visitors in the first 11 months of 2023, four times more than in the same period of 2022, and 69.6 per cent more than between January and November 2019.

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