Typhoon Hato hits casino tourism to Macau

  • Typhoon Hato shut down Asia’s leading gaming hub in August
  • Tourist arrivals fell by 1.8 percent compared to 2016

Data released by Macau’s Statistics and Census Service has clarified the extent of the impact of Typhoon Hato on Asia’s leading casino hub.

The data reveals that tourist arrivals in August totalled 2,866,400, which equates to a drop of 0.6 percent, as both local and foreign visitors took the decision to avoid Macau altogether due to the typhoon.

Typhoon Hato struck Macau , leaving a trail of destruction. Photo: ghheadlines.com
Typhoon Hato struck Macau , leaving a trail of destruction. Photo: ghheadlines.com

According to the report, the decline in tourist numbers represented a drop of 1.8 percent on the same month last year.

In the event the storm did not impact fully on Macau, but it was strong enough to close down the city and take ten lives, along with causing extensive flooding as it headed towards the mainland.

In the wake of the typhoon, the Macau Government Tourism Office suspended all group tours to the city as a clean-up and rebuilding operation took place.

Mainland visitors

The report also revealed that local Chinese tourists remain the main visitors to the city, dubbed Asia’s Las Vegas, and their numbers increased year on year to 2,016,846 during the month of August, although Chinese tourists visiting under the Individual Visit Scheme fell by 0.4 percent to 1,002,628.

Typhoons rock Macau, disrupting casinos in the process.
Typhoons rock Macau, disrupting casinos in the process.

The majority of the Chinese mainland visitors arrived from Guangdong Province (841,638) and Hunan Province (93,692).

According to the figures, there was a drop in the number of visitors from Hong Kong (529,676) and Taiwan (92,580) while the number of tourists from the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom also fell.

By contrast, there was a dramatic increase in the number of visitors from South Korea – up by 30.8 percent

Figures for the January to August period also revealed that tourists from Mainland China and the Republic of Korea rose by 5.9% and 38.1% respectively while visitors from Hong Kong and Taiwan fell by 1.5% and 0.2% respectively.

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