Amidst Calls For Introducing A “Tourism Tax,” Macau Receives 24 percent More Tourists In March

Amidst Calls For Introducing A “Tourism Tax,” Macau Receives 24 percent More Tourists In March

Macau has been struggling with a growing number of tourists every year. The Chinese territory, also regarded as the gambling capital of the world, has been battling with the issues facing the local population as the number of tourists visiting Macau is way over the limits it can support.

Lawmakers have already raised concerns over unchecked tourism and have been demanding a limit on the number of tourists visiting Macau. Earlier in March Lawmaker Sulu Sou, in his proposal to the legislative assembly had asked to restrict the number of tourists. Sou said that the high footfall had created a problem for locals such as increased rent and unsupportable traffic.

Though his proposal did not get much support, other ways to monetize tourism was discussed. In one such proposal, the idea of “ Tourism Tax” was introduced.

With Macau’s entire economy mostly dependent on casinos and visitors from overseas and mainland China, it would be nearly impossible for Macau to restrict or limit tourism.

While the government battles to find a solution the number of tourists visiting Macau increased by 24 percent year-on-year in March. According to the data released by Macau’s Statistics and Census Service though the number of tourists visiting in March is 4.4 percent less than that of the previous month, it is significantly higher when compared with the same period last year.

The majority of the visitors were from mainland China. The average footfall of Chinese tourists increased by 31.3 percent to 2.38 million. The reason for increased footfall is also attributed to the relatively cheaper tickets for the bus service that connects the mainland to Macau.

Most of the visitors were from two Chinese provinces; nearly 899,000 from Guangdong and about 120,000 Hunan province.

Gambling is banned in China, and a significant number of tourists from mainland China visit the gambling destination to try their luck at luxury casino resorts in Macau.

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