Tourism sector and residents split on proposed Macau tourism tax of up to US$25

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A feasibility study on a proposed tourist tax of up to US$25 shows a stark split between residents and the industry with 95% of residents supporting the measure but only 20% of tourism industry interviewees sharing the same viewpoint.

The study, operated by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), collected opinions from nearly 15,000 people. Residents’ opinions were collected online whereas industry questionnaires were distributed physically, and visitors were interviewed face-to-face upon leaving Macau at a border checkpoint.

The proposed tax could see visitors paying up MOP$200 (US$25) upon entry to Macau with residents strongly preferring a tax in the MOP$0-99 range instead of the MOP$100-200 range.

50.6% of visitors interviewed said a tourism tax would affect their decision to visit Macau, giving notion that the tourist tax would lead to a slowdown in Macau tourism growth and an overloading of already busy land-based arrival points into Macau. The study also noted that this tourism tax would counter Macau’s integration with the Greater Bay Area development.