Visitor arrivals to Macau in the first half of 2021 rose by 20.2 percent year-on-year to nearly 3.93 million, according to data published on Tuesday by the city’s Statistics and Census Service. An aggregate of 3.56 million visitors – i.e., 90.7 percent – came from mainland China.
There were 2.06 million overnight stays in the first six months of 2021, representing an increase of 33.2 percent from the prior-year period. The number of same-day visitors rose by 8.5 percent year-on-year, to 1.87 million.
The average length of stay for all arrivals in the first half was 1.6 days, with that of overnight visitors being 2.9 days.
MGTO director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes said last month that the city might welcome “7 million to 8 million” visitors for full-year 2021. Her estimate was based on the trend in visitor arrivals seen in the first five months this year.
Tuesday’s data showed that visitor arrivals to Macau in June declined by 39 percent month-on-month, to 528,519. The statistics bureau said the decline was a result of “reinforced pandemic prevention and control measures in Guangdong province and Macau in early June.”
Nonetheless, the number of mainland visitors accounted for 89.3 percent of all arrivals to Macau in June, at 471,935. That was a decline of 40.7 percent month-on-month.
Fresh cases of Covid-19 infection in Guangdong were reported in late May and early June, resulting in tighter travel restrictions between Macau and the neighbouring mainland province.
Starting from July 10, Macau eased Covid-19 virus test certificate rules for those seeking quarantine-free travel from Guangdong. From that date, any test certificate issued within seven days of arrival in Macau started being accepted, rather than the people needing a certificate issued within 48 hours of arrival, the previous requirement.
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.
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Daisy Ho Chiu Fung
Chairman of Macau casino operator SJM Holdings