DestinationsA surge in Golden Week visitors leads to overcrowded hotspots in Macau

The good, the bad and the ugly of chasing tourists

Crowds surged around the Ruins of St Paul’s during Golden Week enforcing a security control
Crowds surged around the Ruins of St Paul’s during Golden Week enforcing a security control

MACAU – The first four days of the Golden Week 2019, which began Oct 1, saw Macau’s visitor arrivals surge by 11.5% year on year, reaching over 980,000.

Of these, tourists from Greater China were up 13% compared with the same period last year, with 947,000 travelling to the territory, making up 96.1% of the total. Those from the mainland stood at 798,000, a leap of 9.4% year-on-year, representing 81.1% of total visitors.

While Hong Kong visitors were also up by a whopping 43.2% to 136,000, those from Taiwan and international visitor markets were down.

Macau’s borders saw 6% more crossings, while the airport received 15% more passengers.

On the hotels front, establishments enjoyed an average occupancy of 94% during the holiday, up 2%. Five-star properties soared as high as 92.6%, up 2.5%. However, the average room rate was down 5.1% year-on-year.

On Oct 3, tourists crowded around Macau’s most famous attraction, the Ruins of St Paul’s area, forcing the Public Security Force to control the human traffic flow, turning the popular slope leading to the façade into a one-way street.

As a result of the capacity issue, Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) is currently collecting data to optimise the environment. Visitors can avoid the area during peak periods by logging on to the MGTO “smart application for visitor flows” via the “Step Out, Macao” app.

Meanwhile, on Coloane Island’s Hac Sa Beach, group tours from the mainland crowded into the territory’s only camping area. According to complaints, some pitched tents outside the designated camping area, and left behind a big mess damaging the natural environment.

On the fifth day, a record-breaking 256,000 left Macau via the Border Gate.

There was, however, good news when it came to taxi violations. Since the new Taxi Law’s penalties for violations were declared, there has been an 88% fall in violations, and just 17 incidents over the first four days of Golden Week.

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