The impact of Typhoon Hato on Asia’s premier gaming hub has become clearer following data released by Macau’s Statistics and Census Service.
Macau saw August’s tourist arrivals dip by 0.6 percent year-on-year to 2,866,400 as local and foreign visitors avoided the former Portuguese enclave due to what the statistics bureau described as a “catastrophic typhoon.” On a month-to-month basis, tourist arrivals were down by 1.8 percent.
Tropical storm Hato dealt Macau only a glancing blow, but it was powerful enough to shut down casino operations, flood some integrated resorts, and take at least 10 lives as it pummelled its way toward the mainland.
Macau Government Tourism Office ordered the suspension of group tours to Macau between August 25 and September 1 as the city tried to bounce back from the powerful storm.
Local Chinese tourists remain the top visitors to Macau, increasing by 1.9 percent year-on-year to 2,016,846 in August. Chinese tourists travelling under the Individual Visit Scheme dropped slightly by 0.4 percent to 1,002,628.
Mainland visitors came mainly from Guangdong Province (841,638) and Hunan Province (93,692).
Macau saw a drop of tourists coming from Hong Kong (529,676) and Taiwan (92,580) decreased by 10.5 percent and 1.9 percent respectively year-on-year. The number of visitors from the United States (11,933), Canada (4,843), Australia (4,567) and the United Kingdom (4,336) likewise dipped in August.
On the other hand, August saw a 30.8 percent increase in the number of visitors from South Korea.
In the first eight months of 2017, visitor arrivals in Macau were up 4.4 percent to 21,348,656 year-on-year.
Visitors from Mainland China (14,366,008) and the Republic of Korea (583,169) rose by 5.9% and 38.1% during January to August 2017 period, while tourists from Hong Kong (4,204,683) and Taiwan (716,055) dropped by 1.5% and 0.2%, respectively.
Meanwhile, visitors from the United States (120,654) and Canada (47,414) saw year-on-year increases, whereas those from Australia (55,974) and the United Kingdom (37,441) recorded decreases.