Nov 23, 2022 Newsdesk Latest News, Macau, Top of the deck
Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes (pictured) said on Tuesday that the Macau authorities are still waiting for the resumption of package tours from mainland China to be given the go-ahead by the authorities there.
“We haven’t received yet an official authorisation for the return of tour groups” from mainland China, stated Ms Senna Fernandes, on the sidelines of a public event, according to local media reports. She added that the conditions for that step needed to be properly assessed, given the Covid-19 outbreak on the mainland, “especially in Guangdong”, the mainland province next door to Macau.
The mainland’s Covid-19 caseload hit last week a six-month high, as big cities, including Guangzhou, the capital city of Guangdong, recorded flare-ups in the number of infections.
The Macau authorities and their mainland counterparts have been discussing details for the gradual resumption of package tours. Initially such groups would be from the provinces of Guangdong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Fujian, and the city of Shanghai.
On Tuesday, the MGTO director also said the Macau authorities were not in a rush to start receiving tour groups from the mainland, if that were to “represent a higher risk of infection for the local community”.
Ms Senna Fernandes stated that the government and the local travel industry were “ready to receive” tour groups, but noted “appropriate conditions” were needed before the return of that trade.
In terms of easing conditions for independent travellers from the mainland, the authorities there reactivated on November 1 the use of electronic processing on applications for exit visas to visit Macau.
In a Monday memo, brokerage Morgan Stanley Asia Ltd noted that the rising number of Covid-19 cases in mainland China was “not helping the otherwise important resumption of e-visas [to Macau] since November 1”, with “near-term recovery to remain gradual/choppy”.
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