Mainland Chinese consumers have only a “low” appetite for attempting to travel to Macau during the upcoming Labour Day holiday break centred on May 1. They appear to be postponing their travel plans and pushing them into the next 12 months or later, concluded a survey conducted by a research unit of banking group Morgan Stanley.
Travel restrictions have been put in place in Macau, mainland China and worldwide amid the novel coronavirus outbreak and its associated infection Covid-19, which has grown to pandemic scale. Macau’s neighbouring province Guangdong, usually a major source of tourists for the city, currently insists even its own residents must undergo a 14-day quarantine if they are coming back from Macau, and there is currently no clarity on when either that measure or various other restrictions will end.
Data from Macau’s Public Security Police, the body responsible for monitoring border traffic, indicated that on some days last week fewer than 300 visitors entered the city.
AlphaWise has been conducting weekly consumer surveys since March 11 amongst Chinese consumers across the mainland’s 19 provinces. They are aimed at gauging the pace of the country’s economic recovery from the novel coronavirus pandemic. The survey sample group – people aged 18 to 49 that reside in any one of China’s tier 1 to 4 cities – are described by AlphaWise as representing the “urban”, “more affluent” and “active Internet consumers” relative to the country’s overall population.
Amongst 2,038 respondents surveyed last week, only 7 percent plan to attempt to travel next month to Macau during the Labour Day holiday period, according to the latest AlphaWise survey published on Monday. China’s State Council has designated May 1, a Friday, to May 5, a Tuesday, as the period for this year’s Labour Day break.
In aggregate 44 percent of the AlphaWise survey respondents indicated they had no plan to try to travel to Macau. A further 23 percent intend only to travel to Macau in the next 12 months or beyond. Fewer than 20 percent of the respondents flagged any intention to travel to Macau within the next six months.
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”The Macau government is not aiming to trivialise or drive out the junket sector, but to regulate the sector so that it would not hurt Macau’s reputation”
Alvin Chau Cheok Wa
Chief executive of privately-held VIP junket business Suncity Group