The Macau government is launching on Tuesday (September 1), a spending-stimulus scheme for mainland China tourists coming to Macau under the recently-arranged travel bubble between the places amid Covid-19, with the aim of getting such visitors to extend their stay.
The government’s new scheme is being run with assistance from Chinese online commerce brands Tencent, and Alibaba; as well as the city’s flag-carrier airline, Air Macau Co Ltd.
The scheme includes discount offers on flight tickets and hotel accommodation, according to a Friday announcement. The overall initiative is designed to stimulate such visitors’ spending, including getting them to stay longer.
Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, director of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), said in comments to local media on the sidelines of a public event on Saturday, that the government hoped to see a “bigger volume” of mainland Chinese visitors, with help from the promotion scheme.
She noted that in the “near term”, the city would only be able to receive mainland Chinese tourists, “as those from overseas – or even from the neighbouring Hong Kong and Taiwan – are still subject to our quarantine measure”.
The Macau government said it had chosen Chinese eCommerce platforms as partners for its stimulus initiative, as they had been found “effective” in helping domestic tourism spending – especially for hotels, restaurants and shop promotions – when the mainland had earlier opened up inter-provincial travel after the initial Covid-19 emergency.
As part of Macau’s new tourism-promotion scheme, visitors can take part in a draw to get the chance of discounts for Macau hotels, or for flights, by following the tourism bureau’s official account on Tencent’s social media platform WeChat, or via Alibaba’s travel service platform, Fliggy, the Friday statement noted.
Macau was currently seeing about 10,000 tourist arrivals per day; still a “low” volume compared to the city’s historical performance, Ms Senna Fernandes noted.
All foreign nationals, i.e., people from outside China – with the exception of Macau ID holders that hold a foreign passport – are currently prohibited from even entering Macau, according to current Macau government instructions, carried on MGTO’s website.
People from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, are prohibited from entering Macau if they have visited a foreign country 14 days prior to their intended arrival in Macau.
Macau ID holders and other eligible travellers, must present a certificate of freedom from Covid-19 infection, and undergo on arrival, a 14-day quarantine, if they have been overseas or to Hong Kong or Taiwan, within 14 days of their intended travel to Macau.
Applications for exit visas from Guangdong province for tourist visits to Macau under the Individual Visit Scheme (IVS), were opened again on August 26, by the mainland authorities. Applications for IVS permits for people in other parts of China, are to restart on September 23.
Such mainland visitors will still need to produce a certificate showing they are free from Covid-19 infection, and it must have been issued within seven days of their arrival in Macau.
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