Macau has seen a gradual rebound in its daily tourist arrivals since last week, following a slump amid a Covid-19 Delta variant alert that began on August 4, due to infection of four locals.
The 24-hour tally of inbound tourists reached 16,900 on Tuesday (August 17) – the latest figures available, the city’s Public Security Police said on Wednesday in the daily media briefing on the city’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The daily figures had reached 16,700 on Monday (August 16), according to Tuesday’s briefing.
Monday’s visitor tally was up 85 percent day-on-day compared to Sunday’s aggregate of 9,000, according to data from the Public Security Police, the agency responsible for running the city’s immigration checkpoints.
Mainland China is currently the only place to have a largely-quarantine-free travel arrangement with Macau. But the mainland has seen a new wave of Covid-19 infection cases since late July. A portion of those cases were reported by mainland media, to be connected to a cluster identified at Nanjing Lukou International Airport, in Jiangsu province.
The recent pickup in visitor arrivals has coincided with an easing on August 10, of the rules regarding the valid duration for a Covid-19 test – from 12 hours previously, to 48 hours – required by cross-border travellers moving between Macau and Guangdong province, and in the opposite direction.
Nonetheless, casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the seven days to Sunday (August 15) was down 37 percent week-on-week, and the lowest weekly tally since September last year, said a note on Monday this week, from brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd.
On August 10, the city’s tourist arrivals had tallied 4,300, up by just over half, from the low base of 2,800 the previous day, when the 12-hour test validity rule still applied.
Macau’s tourist arrival aggregate fell to only 1,800 on August 4, when the 12-hour validity rule for the required Covid-19 test had been introduced.
The city’s daily-visitor data then hovered at about 2,000 between August 5 and August 8.
Prior to August’s Delta variant alert in Macau, the city had seen a gradual improvement in tourist numbers and casino GGR, compared to the lows at the height of the pandemic crisis last year.
In May this year, Macau had the best monthly performance for tourism since the start of the pandemic. The city recorded 866,063 tourist arrivals that month, or an average of circa 27,938 daily.
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President and chief executive of casino equipment provider Scientific Games