Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes (pictured in file photo), director of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), says her office expects the number of visitor arrivals to be above “25,000 per day” during the National Day holiday in October.
The MGTO boss said so in an interview with the Chinese-language service of Macau public broadcaster TDM. “For the [tourism] sector, the [October] Golden Week is a very important period as everyone is hoping to achieve a better business performance,” Ms Senna Fernandes said.
China’s State Council has designated the first seven days of October as this year’s National Day holiday.
Macau only recently saw a modest pickup in the number of daily tourist arrivals, according to official data. The rebound in visitor arrivals 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, the latter a major feeder market for the city’s tourist arrivals.
There was a slump in the number of tourists earlier this month amid a Covid-19 Delta variant alert that began on August 4, due to infection of four locals.
Prior to that, the city had seen a gradual improvement in tourist numbers and casino gross gaming revenue, compared to the low levels experienced at the height of the pandemic last year. Macau’s aggregate visitor arrivals reached 789,407 in July, or an average daily tally of 25,465, according to the latest available data from the city’s Statistics and Census Service.
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, and several local authorities have subsequently advised their people to avoid making non-essential outbound trips.
To date, Macau still mandates quarantine for inbound travellers coming from a number of districts from 11 provinces and cities on the mainland, namely: Jiangsu province, Henan province, Hunan province, Hubei province, Shandong province, Hainan province, Yunnan province, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Beijing, Shanghai, and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
In separate comments reported by TDM, Lei Si Tai, an executive director of the operator of the Macau International Airport, said the infrastructure handled some 7,000 passengers per day in July, but that the number had declined to between 200 and 300 passengers a day this month. The airport operator, Macau International Airport Co Ltd, expects passenger traffic to rebound in October, said Mr Lei.
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