Jul 31, 2020 Newsdesk Latest News, Macau, Top of the deck
A spokesman for Macau’s Public Security Police, said on Friday in response to a question from GGRAsia, that the force had no knowledge of whether the authorities in neighbouring Guangdong province planned a daily quota of outbound visitors to Macau under an update to Guangdong exit visa policy retrospectively publicised on Thursday.
Lei Tak Fai was speaking on the sidelines of a scheduled Friday press conference from the city’s government about Macau’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. He also said the force had not learned of the Guangdong policy move in advance of it being publicised on Thursday.
During Friday’s briefing, Mr Lei had said his force was still in the process of “understanding” Guangdong’s order for resumption of exit visas to Macau for non-tourism purposes. Macau’s Public Security Police are responsible for running the city’s entry checkpoints including the main border (pictured in a file photo) serving the Guangdong city of Zhuhai.
It emerged on Thursday from media reports originating on the mainland – that cited a decision of China’s State Council – that the resumption of such visas had actually started on July 15.
The rest of the provinces in mainland China are to follow suit with exit visas for Macau-bound travel – for purposes other than tourism – starting on August 12, according to the reports.
Non-tourism-related visas to Macau issued by mainland China provinces include visas for business trips or for study purposes, or for travel related to family matters.
Exit visas for package tour trips, or for independent travel under China’s Individual Visit Scheme, also known by its acronym IVS, are still not being issued for now. A number of Investment analysts has said they expect a return of the IVS system to be a key element in any rebound of Macau gross gaming revenue.
Hubert Wang, president and chief operating officer of Macau casino operator MGM China Holdings Ltd, said on the second-quarter earnings call of the parent MGM Resorts International on Thursday, he thought IVS resumption could come in “mid-September” or even “a little bit earlier”, possibly starting with Guangdong province.
In other developments during Friday’s press briefing, an official from Macao Government Tourism Office said that rooms at the Sheraton Grand Macao hotel, at the Sands Cotai Central casino resort run by Sands China Ltd – that had been used for 14-day quarantine stints of those returning from overseas – would be handed back by the government to the resort operator, no later than August 14.
Half of its 4,000 hotel rooms had been used for the same purpose between late March and late April. The hotel was put into action for that purpose again on June 7.
The tourism bureau said on Friday that from Saturday (August 1) the Golden Crown China Hotel – across the road from Macau International Airport – would be used for quarantine purposes.
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”Human capital constraints and skill gaps pose a key challenge for Macau to substantially reduce its high dependence on the gaming industry”
George Xu, Andrew Fennell and Jan Friederich
Analysts at Fitch Ratings