Macau welcomed almost 720,000 visitors during the Chinese New Year "Golden Week" holiday (Lunar New Year Eve to 6th day of Lunar Year), a slight growth of 0.45% over the same period in 2007. More than 390,000 or 54% of the arrivals were from Mainland China, a growth of 1.03%. During the period, an average of over 13,000 hotel rooms were rented out per day, a surge of 23%.
From February 6 to 14, Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) and the Provincial Tourism Administrations of Guangdong and Fujian have jointly operated the "Chinese New Year Tourism Notifying System" to ensure enjoyable holidays for visitors.
Starting from this year, the 7-day Chinese New Year "Golden Week" holiday begins on New Year's Eve instead of the 1st day of Lunar Year. According to traditions, Chinese stay home for family dinners on New Year's Eve and seldom go traveling, which might affect the number of arrivals to Macau this year aside from the cold weather and traffic woes that put off tourists. Despites the hitches, there was a slight increase in arrivals to Macau and the number of occupied hotel rooms soared 23%, showing an increase in overnight guests in Macau.
From February 6 (Lunar New Year's Eve) to February 12 (6th day of Lunar Year), visitor arrivals grew 0.45% over the Chinese New Year "Golden Week" holiday period of last year to 717,183. A total of 390,311, or 54.4% of the arrivals were from Mainland China, a growth of 1.03%.
Since the last Chinese New Year, the number of 3 to 5 star hotel rooms has increased from 11,907 to 15,184, an addition of 3,277 rooms. The significant increase in supply of hotel rooms has resulted in a slight drop in the average occupancy rate during the Chinese New Year "Golden Week" holiday, where 3 to 5-star hotels registered a decrease of 3.75 percentage points.
Average room rate for 3 to 5-star hotels was MOP$1322.07, a rise of 17.71% over the Chinese New Year "Golden Week" holiday period of last year. Average room rate of guesthouses was MOP292, an increase of 4.94%, while that of 2-star hotels was MOP540.7, a rise of 5.1%
During Lunar New Year, MGTO has reinforced supervision at various tourist attractions and entry checkpoints. MGTO's information counters and tourist hotline operated as usual to provide visitors with tourist information. As of February 6, MGTO's tourist hotline has been extended to 24-hour operator service. MGTO has also published a leaflet providing travel tips for Mainland visitors to ensure a smooth and trouble-free visit to Macau. Close collaboration among various departments and the support of tourism and related entities helped to enhance the hospitality of the city to welcome visitors.
In addition to the new tourism and entertainment facilities, a series of celebrations and cultural activities took place during Lunar New Year to give a colorful and multi-dimensional experience to both visitors and citizens.