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Home/Macao registers a record number of visits since Covid-19

Macau registers a record of visits since Covid-19

The international Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has strongly affected Macau’s land-based casinos. Indeed, its impact was felt a little earlier than elsewhere in the world and lasted until very recently, due to extremely strict restrictions lifted from January 8 only.

A few figures published recently show a definite improvement for the sector. Last February was simply the busiest month for Macau since the beginning of the international health crisis.

An increase of 14% compared to January 2023 and 143% compared to February 2022

On Friday March 17, the Macau Bureau of Statistics and Census released some interesting figures. It was learned that in February 2023 more than 1.59 million visitors came to this former Portuguese colony. This is an increase of 14% compared to January, even though this month was marked by the Chinese New Year vacation week.

If we compare to February 2022, when only 655,500 people visited, this corresponds to an increase of 143%.

This superb performance is the result of the end of the controversial zero Covid policy at the end of November, which allowed a gradual easing of health restrictions.

Most of them have disappeared in the case of Macao since January 8. Thus, tourist visits from mainland China were able to resume for a full month from last February after having been suspended for more than 3 years.

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Macau: a small territory whose casinos need outside players

As Chinese gamblers have not been able to visit Macau’s casinos for a very long time, they are now flocking to these establishments. The 6 licensed operators in this special administrative region earned $1.43 billion in January and $1.28 billion in February. These monthly results even exceeded analysts’ expectations.

This is not at all surprising, since gambling complexes logically need tourists to function properly. After all, Macau is a very small territory of about 30 km² with a population of just over 630,000. That’s why the region’s casinos have always targeted outside gamblers.

For many years, they relied heavily on VIP junket operators to bring them customers. However, this market is now almost non-existent in the former Portuguese colony. It is now mainly focused on the general public. As a result, it needs to attract more and more visitors to keep its land-based casino industry thriving.

1.86 million visitors expected in March 2023

So during February 2023, there were about 1.59 million people who visited Macau. This is the best result in this respect since January 2020. Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go to get back to the levels before the global health crisis.

Indeed, it was about 3.5 million visitors that had been registered in February 2019. Local authorities estimate that the number of arrivals is expected to increase again during the current month of March.

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They mentioned the figure of 60,000 daily visitors on average, which makes a total estimate of about 1.86 million people in March 2023.

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