Visitor arrivals to Macau on the sixth day of the autumn Golden Week holiday period held stable sequentially, standing at 21,573. The city had welcomed a total of 21,500 visitors on the previous day.
The number of arrivals on the sixth day of the Golden Week was however down by 82.7 percent from the prior-year period. The latest data put the number of visitor arrivals to the city at 120,165 between October 1 and October 6 (Tuesday), down 86.6 percent from a year earlier.
The preliminary figures from the city’s Public Security Police were compiled by the Macao Government Tourism Office.
During last year’s autumn Golden Week, Macau recorded an average of more than 139,000 visitor entries per day, according to official data.
The number of mainland visitor arrivals on October 6 was 19,934, a year-on-year decline of 77.2 percent but similar to the tally of the previous day (19,815). That pushed the aggregate tally of mainland Chinese tourists in the first six days of the holiday period to 112,433, down 84.8 percent from the prior-year period.
October Golden Week this year incorporates the lunar-calendar based Mid-autumn Festival, as well as China’s October 1 National Day. China’s State Council has designated October 1 to October 8, inclusive, as the holiday period.
Autumn Golden Week is usually a peak season for Macau’s tourism and gaming industries as hundreds of thousands of mainland Chinese tourists take advantage of the weeklong break to visit Macau.
The 2020 autumn Golden Week has been seen by a number of investment analysts as a key moment for gauging the likely strength of any comeback this year in casino gross gaming revenue for the Macau market, after the initial disruption wrought by Covid-19. Results so far have been disappointing, according to a number of investment analysts and industry insiders.
Since September 23, applications have been reopened across mainland China for tourism permits for trips to Macau, although analysts have suggested that for now, it is typically taking seven working days to process them. In addition, mainland Chinese tourists wishing to enter Macau must show a certificate for a valid, negative Covid-19 test, issued in the preceding seven days before their arrival.
Some Macau tourism industry leaders are lobbying the local government to relax the Covid-19 test requirement. Travel Industry Council of Macau representative Wong Fai suggested on Wednesday that the requirement to show a certificate proving freedom of Covid-19 be dropped for places in mainland China labeled as ‘low risk’ in terms of infections, including the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area.
His comments were made during a radio show hosted by the Chinese-language channel of local public broadcaster TDM. Mr Wong noted that for domestic trips within mainland China, travellers were not required to produce a Covid-19 test certificate.
There is limited prospect of Hong Kong visitors flocking to Macau in the short run, as a 14-day quarantine is still required for anyone arriving via the neighbouring city. People going from Macau to Hong Kong are also required to undergo a 14-day quarantine, a requirement that was extended last week by the Hong Kong government to December 31. At the time, it was stated that the measure could be reviewed “subject to development of the epidemic situation.”
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DS Kim, Derek Choi, and Livy Lyu
Analysts at JP Morgan