Macau Tops List of Satisfying Chinese Tourist Destinations

Land Based Casinos Business
Alan Campbell

Updated by Alan Campbell

Last Updated 30th May 2024, 03:42 PM

Macau Tops List of Satisfying Chinese Tourist Destinations

For the first time, the casino hotspots of Macau have topped popular locales such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Cambodia and the United States to become the most pleasing foreign destination for mainland Chinese tourists.

The China Tourism Academy posted a new study across its WeChat account on Tuesday showing Macau had racked up a first-quarter score of 83.49 among Chinese vacationers, which took it up from the third-place rank it managed to achieve for the same period last year.

Desirable Destination

Macau is home to over 40 casino locations including the 3,000-room Venetian Macao property from the Sands China Limited. 

The former Portuguese colony welcomed almost 6.3 million travelers from mainland China during the first quarter, visitors ready to try their luck at the poker table, which was a rise of 94.3% year-on-year, after admitting approximately 19 million visitors for the whole of 2023.

These numbers helped to push aggregated first-quarter gaming revenues in Macau up by 65.4% year-on-year to approximately $7.11 billion after a 2023 in which the annual tally grew by over 333% to reach some $22.73 billion. 

Official figures from the enclave’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau regulator also show the city could well have an even better 2024 with combined twelve-month casino receipts in the region of $34 billion.

Optimistic Outlook

The Macau News Agency reports the study from the China Tourism Academy was part of a larger examination of eastern Asia’s cross-border tourism markets. This exercise moreover found mainland holidaymakers remain enthusiastic about visiting Hong Kong and Macau and asserted the distance such visitors are prepared to travel is gradually growing beyond the usual ‘one-hour living circle’ rule.

An arm of the giant nation’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the China Tourism Academy furthermore revealed Chinese holidaymakers took around 474 million domestic trips during February’s eight-day Lunar New Year holiday period, which was an increase of 34.3% year-on-year. 

The state-run agency went on to divulge a 7.6% swell in the number of such journeys made throughout the five days of this month’s Labour Day festivities.

Retreating Repute

Regarding other destinations popular with mainland Chinese tourists, the China Tourism Academy survey showed Hong Kong had dropped two spots from last year to sit in seventh with a score of 81.77. 

This is all the more surprising as Hong Kong was top of the pile in 2014 while Macau was down in twelfth place.

“In the first quarter of this year, Macau became the travel destination with the highest satisfaction among mainland tourists for the first time while Hong Kong ranked seventh,” read a statement from the China Tourism Academy. 

“It is unfortunate that the number of mainland tourists visiting Hong Kong has dropped over the past decade due to the social unrest, Covid-19 pandemic and negative publicity related to tourism.”

Meet The Author

Alan Campbell
Alan Campbell

Alan Campbell has been reporting on the global gambling industry ever since graduating from university in the late-1990s with degrees in journalism, English and history. Now headquartered in the northern English city of Sheffield, he has written on a plethora of topics, companies, regulatory developments and technological innovations for a large number of traditional and digital publications from around the planet.

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