In Macau, a prominent government official has reportedly declared that she is expecting the number of tourists visiting the former Portuguese enclave over the course of the next seven days to rise by up to 9% year-on-year in order to reach an all-time high of around 1.04 million.
According to a report from GGRAsia, the Sunday prediction from Maria Helena De Senna Fernandes, Director for the Macao Government Tourism Office, covers the week-long Chinese New Year period and came only twelve days after the same official had forecast an around a 6% year-on-year increase in annual tourism numbers to approximately 38 million.
Bridge to aid progress:
Senna Fernandes reportedly proclaimed that the recently-opened Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, which connects Macau to Hong Kong, is to serve as a major element in helping her city to boost its year-on-year Chinese New Year tourism numbers. However, she purportedly also cautioned that the eventually tally could be negatively impacted by unpredictable elements such as the weather.
Impressive occupancy rates:
GGRAsia reported that Macau welcomed in excess of 960,000 tourists for last year’s edition of Chinese New Year, which represented a 6.5% swell year-on-year and had surpassed an earlier forecast from Senna Fernandes. It additionally detailed that this had led to the city recording an average hotel occupancy rate of 94.5% with the tally for five-star properties reaching an even higher 95.9%.
By way of comparison, the source continued that its own research had determined that over half of Macau’s 23 five-star hotels would be fully booked for the upcoming Chinese New Year period with occupancy typically set to peak from Thursday.
Additional flights scheduled:
Finally, Macau International Airport Company Limited proclaimed intends to add some 200 extra flights to is Chinese New Year schedule in order ‘to accommodate the surging travel demand from local residents and tourists and bring more choice and convenience to passengers.’ The operator behind the single-runway Macau International Airport purportedly explained that these additions will be used to service popular destinations in mainland China as well as cities in Japan, Taiwan and Thailand.