Macau has strengthened its hold as the number one gambling tourism destination, after posting yet more growth in visitor numbers over the first 3 quarters of 2013. Despite the booming mobile casino market, 21.9 million visitors from around the world flocked to the city’s casinos during the first 9 months of 2013.
This is a 5% increase on 2012, and with September showing a 7.9% year on year increase in visitor numbers, it looks like growth is unlikely to slow any time soon.
One of the biggest areas for growth was in Chinese visitors, with a 12% rise in visitors from the mainland. With Chinese gambling laws extremely tough – and unlikely to change, too – Macau is likely to continue to gain heavy attention from the gambling mad Chinese community.
However, there could be some extra competition coming Macau’s way soon, as the latest gambling news from around the Far East shows. Perhaps egged on by Macau’s success, the Philippines, Japan, Far Eastern Russia, and Australia are all looking into building new casino resorts to attract Asian gamblers.
Indeed, with Russia’s Primorye region becoming a gambling zone, a casino resort close to the Chinese border will be built in the coming years. Meanwhile, Japan is keen to cash in on the 2020 Olympics, while the Philippines’ massive Manila Bay Resorts casino is still pressing ahead.
Despite the positive visitor growth, Macau still has a lot of work to do if it wants to be considered a true holiday destination. Q3 2013 saw visitor satisfaction figures drop below 70% as satisfaction with expensive and crowded hotels, in particular, nosedived. Along with the hotel situation, the satisfaction with other tourist attractions also fell.
Macau therefore needs to step up its game if it wishes to compete successfully with the newcomers to the Far Eastern market.