Sheldon Adelson, chairman and chief executive for Las Vegas Sands Corp, spoke with media Wednesday April 22, 2015 regarding a proposal to implement visitor limits to Macau. During the conference call he said the proposal is the opinion of “one” person. This person is most likely Alexis Tam Chon Weng, the Secretary for Social Affairs in Macau. The Secretariat is responsible for the education, health, tourism, social affairs and culture issues in the region.
Mr. Adelson was quoted as saying, “the chances of that happening are the same as I wake up tomorrow morning and all my hair has grown back.” While a joke, the proposal to put limits on the number of visitors entering Macau is not.
Mr. Adelson states the intention of the ministers is good, but the cap on visitors is not thought out properly. He also stated the government did not make the decision.
Alexis Tam Chon Weng Che was replaced by Victor Chan Chi Ping (former Director of the Government Information Bureau) as the Macau Chief Government spokesman in December of 2014.
Earlier this month Mr. Tam explained, “Our largest market is Mainland China, which from a total of 31 million visitors accounts for 21 million, which means that they account for 66.4 per cent of the total number of visitors. Our selection of the visitors is aimed at reaching an equilibrium point. For the moment, we want to receive 21 million Mainland Chinese tourists and increase the number of international tourists” he said. “However, this number is not stable. After the new hotels, Light Rapid Transport and other infrastructure related to public transport are ready the number of Mainland tourists will increase again.”
“According to a study by IFT [Institute for Tourism Studies] Macau has the capacity to receive 89,000 to 92,000 visitors per day. However, during the Chinese New Year there were 147,000 visitors per day. This number is well above the city’s capacity according to the IFT study and if this trend continues the quality of life of residents will be affected.”