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The Macau Metro Monitor, February 15, 2013

OVER 155,000 VISITOR ARRIVALS ON FIFTH DAY OF CNY Macau Business

On Feb 14, Macau welcomed over 155,000 visitors, an increase of 7.7% compared with the same period last year (CNY).  It was the second day in a row recording a growth slowdown.  Of the total tourist arrivals recorded yesterday, around 112,000 were from the mainland, up by 17.1% 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% compared with the same period last year.

NEW PRIVATE HOME SALES JUMP BY 43% IN JANUARY Channel News Asia

Sales of new private homes in Singapore jumped by about 43% MoM, despite the latest round of cooling measures introduced last month.  According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), 2,013 units of new private homes - excluding executive condominiums - were sold in January, compared to 1,410 units sold in December 2012.

MACAU GOVERNMENT SEES NO NEED TO RESTRICT INDIVIDUAL VISIT SCHEME Macau News

Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes said she believed that the mainland’s Individual Visit Scheme would continue to benefit the development of tourism in the city.  Asked by reporters for her comments on travelers’ complaints about the long wait to cross the Barrier Gate checkpoint during the Chinese New Year holidays and the city’s visitor capacity, Fernandes said that the situation would be improved after some of the immigration halls were extended.

Asked by reporters as to whether people from more mainland cities should be allowed to visit Macau through the Individual Visit Scheme or whether it should be limited, Fernandes said that mainlanders using the scheme gave a major boost to the local economy.  The Individual Visit Scheme was first introduced in four Guangdong cities (Dongguan, Foshan, Jiangmen and Zhongshan) on 28 July 2003 as a liberalisation measure under the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).  The scheme allows residents of these cities to visit Hong Kong and Macau as individuals.