Macao sees robust tourism recovery during May Day holiday

(Xinhua) 16:57, May 05, 2023

MACAO, May 5 (Xinhua) -- China's Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) witnessed robust tourism recovery during the just-concluded five-day May Day holiday in the mainland, receiving around 300 travel groups and nearly 500,000 visitors.

The Macao Government Tourism Office said on Friday that a total of around 493,000 visitors entered Macao during the holiday from Saturday to Wednesday, including 376,000 from the mainland and 89,000 from China's Hong Kong SAR.

The number of visitors rose more than 262 percent from the May Day holiday of last year and recovered to about 62 percent of the level in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic, the office said.

The average hotel occupancy rate during the holiday reached 85 percent, up 26.5 percentage points from the same period of last year. The hotel occupancy rate on Sunday, the day before May 1, shot up to 93.2 percent, a new record high this year.

Not only were famous tourist spots such as the landmark Ruins of St. Paul's and A-Ma Temple packed with tourists, but niche tourism destinations and streets also welcomed visitors, injecting vigor into community economy.

The Macao Grand Prix Museum, a popular attraction to children, received nearly 3,000 visitors during the holiday, an increase of 86 percent from a year ago.

An employee at a store selling local specialties told Xinhua that they had been working overtime every day during the holiday. "However, the payment tripled and we had something to look forward to in the future," he said.

Chan Ka Leong, director general of the General Union of Neighborhood Associations of Macao, said the number of visitors during the holiday exceeded general expectations, voicing confidence that Macao's tourism sector can help boost other sectors to generate more financial income.

Macao were fully prepared for the holiday tourist surge. Starting Monday, two of the major land ports linking the SAR with its neighboring Zhuhai city in the mainland lifted the ban on multi-entries and exits for travelers on a single day.

The office also rolled out a series of events for this month, including the month-long 33rd Macao Arts Festival and a sports carnival on the beach. Authorities from several government departments carried out joint patrols during the holiday to curb illegal business operations.

Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, director of the SAR government tourism office, said they will learn from the experiences of this holiday to be better prepared for the summer holiday, a usual travel peak period for students, and the holiday for the National Day on Oct. 1.

Ng Iong Wai, president of the Macao Tour Guide Promotion Association, said Macao should continue tapping its cultural potential to help tourists feel its cultural charm.

Li Xi, executive associate dean of the Faculty of International Tourism and Management of the City University of Macao, said tourism recovery is bound to boost relevant industries and help advance Macao's appropriate economic diversification.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Wu Chaolan)


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