Cancellations were seen over the weekend, of bookings for upcoming October Golden Week stays at Cotai casino resorts, said Macau Travel Industry Council president, Andy Wu Keng Kuong in Monday comments to GGRAsia, after confirmation of two new infection cases in Macau, involving the Covid-19 Delta variant.
Mainland China’s seven-day break starts on Friday (October 1), China’s National Day.
“The initial expectation for the October Golden Week was that the Cotai casino resorts might see an average occupancy rate at 80 percent to 90 percent. But that rate now might stand at just 50 percent to 60 percent, as many cancellations of bookings had happened throughout the weekend following Macau’s news of the new Covid-19 infection cases,” remarked Mr Wu.
Those estimates would likely see further changes – for the better or for the worse – depending on any updates on travel rules as might be announced by the authorities in Macau and in mainland China, Mr Wu added.
Prior to the newly-reported Covid-19 infection cases in Macau, Mr Wu had told GGRAsia he was hopeful the October Golden Week would bring many mainland visitors – particularly from Guangdong – to Macau. The travel trade representative also had remarked at the time that Cotai resorts were likely to be more appealing to mainland tourists than casino hotels and resorts on the Macau peninsula.
From 6am on September 26 (Sunday), people travelling to Zhuhai from Macau have been required by the Zhuhai authorities to undergo a 14-day compulsory quarantine. This rule is in force until at least Wednesday (September 29). The compulsory quarantine excludes people working either in the logistics industry, the funerals sector, or in medical services.
Mainland China is the only place to have a largely quarantine-free travel bubble with Macau, amid existing travel restrictions as countermeasures against Covid-19. Currently, all people travelling to Macau via a direct flight from the mainland, must hold a ‘negative’ test result for Covid-19 issued within seven days prior to their arrival.
But starting on Saturday (September 25), anyone wishing to leave Macau has been required to submit a certificate showing a ‘negative’ test result for Covid-19 that has been issued within 48 hours of departure, according to a Macau government directive.
“Even if Zhuhai is lifting the quarantine order by Wednesday, the impact of that travel restriction and Macau’s Covid-19 development has already greatly discouraged mainland visitors from coming here during the upcoming Golden Week,” Mr Wu remarked to us.
“Just as the experience we had in August, the travel restrictions enforced by the authorities here and on the mainland will likely take quite some time to be phased out gradually,” the travel trade council boss added.
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