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MACAU VISITORS DOWN 11.9% IN THE FIRST SEVEN MONTHS OF THE YEAR macaunews.com.mo

12.1 million people visited Macau during the first seven months of the year, 11.9% less than in the same period of 2008, according to official data released by the Statistics and Census Services.  Visitation from the mainland fell by 17.6% for the year through July for a 5.9 million people.  Visitors from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Malaysia also fell by 2.4%, 6.6%, and 30.1%, respectively.  The number of visitors from Japan increased 1.1% to about 194.7 thousand, while visitation from Thailand also increased by 3.8%. 

CASINOS SURGE ON NEWS OF VISA POLICY scmp.com

Guangdong residents making trips to Macau under the individual visitation scheme may soon be able to secure visas more often - once per month rather than the current limit of once every two months, according to the Macau Travel Industry Council. 

President of the MTIC, Andy Wu Keng-kuong, said that tour operators in Macau had been expecting Guangdong to relax visa restrictions following the October 1 National Day celebrations.  He stated that it is not typical for the authorities to make an official announcement, but a traveler may experience a different wait time for visa applications to be processed and accepted.  However, an employee of a Shenzen travel agency told the SCMP that she had not yet heard of any policy change.

ESUN HOLDINGS: TERMINATING AGREEMENT WITH TAUBMAN ON MACAU PROJECT cn.wsj.com

eSun Holdings Limited announced that it is terminating its JV agreement with Taubman Centers Inc. to develop Studio City.  The statement, released last Friday, said that the agreement had been terminated due to a number of deadlines not being reached.