he figures provided by the Tourist Office also include non-resident workers and students, some of whom exit and re-enter Macau during the holiday period. Of the total tourist arrivals recorded yesterday, around 112,000 were from the mainland, up by 17.1 percent in comparison with the same period last year.
In the first five days of the Year of the Snake, Macau welcomed around 718,000 tourists, up by 17.7 percent compared with the same period last year.
The head of the Macau Government Tourist Office, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, said yesterday that Macau has not yet reached its limit in terms of tourist capacity. She downplayed the chaotic scenes at the Barrier Gate checkpoint, which has been overcrowded during the Lunar New Year holidays, with people reporting to have waited for several hours to cross the border.
The city “is particularly packed during Lunar New Year and the situation on normal days is different from what is happening now”, Ms Senna Fernandes told reporters yesterday. “We can not simply use this holiday season to evaluate the overall tourism capacity of Macau,” she said.
Ms Senna Fernandes vowed that the government would learn from this experience in order to improve arrangements in future peak seasons.