Macau’s tourism sector might get a lift in time for the upcoming week-long holiday encompassing National Day in October, if China’s authorities can tackle Covid outbreaks nationally, and move to easier testing rules for travellers, said Andy Wu Keng Kuong, president of the Macau Travel Industry Council, in comments to GGRAsia.
Though he admitted: “It is now very hard to know how the National Day break will be for Macau, dependent on whether the Covid-19 cases happening in our key source markets in the mainland can be brought under control before the holiday.”
China’s State Council has designated October 1 – a Saturday, – to October 7, – a Friday – as this year’s holiday season surrounding National Day. In Macau it is sometimes referred to as “autumn Golden Week”, and has traditionally been an important earnings season for Macau casinos and tourist facilities.
As of Monday (September 5), authorities on the mainland had reported in aggregate 1,499 fresh cases of Covid-19 infection, most asymptomatic, according to the latest update from the National Health Commission. In Guangdong province next door to Macau – a traditional major feeder market for the city’s tourism trade – 58 fresh cases of local Covid-19 infection were registered as of Monday, found respectively in the cities of Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Huizhou, and Jiangmen.
A majority of the new outbreaks as of Monday came respectively from Tibet Autonomous Region, and the province of Heilongjiang in northeast China, and of Sichuan in southwest China, according to the health commission’s update.
More than 30 cities and an estimated 65 million people in China were under varied levels of lockdown as of Saturday, as the country was battling its “broadest” Covid-19 outbreak since early 2020, mainland China financial media outlet Caixin reported.
Mr Wu, of Macau Travel Industry Council, told GGRAsia he was still hopeful regarding the prospects for easing Covid-19 testing rules for visitors from mainland China ahead of the National Day break.
Currently, people travelling from Zhuhai to Macau are required to present a certificate – issued within 48 hours of departure from Zhuhai – showing a ‘negative’ result for Covid-19 infection. Travellers to Zhuhai are required to present a certificate issued within 24 hours of intended departure from Macau, showing a negative infection result. Zhuhai is normally the key overland gateway for China’s tourists setting off on, and coming back from, a Macau break.
“As soon as mainland China is able to stem the current Covid-19 spread, we can expect the Covid testing rule to be eased pretty quickly,” suggested Mr Wu.
The Chinese mainland is the only place to have a largely quarantine-free travel arrangement with Macau. The mainland has been to date, adopting a zero-Covid 19 strategy, which relies on periodic mass testing and lockdown as the means to tackle any emergence of local Covid-19 transmission. The Macau government’s Covid-19 policy is in line with mainland China’s.
The recovery path for Macau’s casino gross gaming revenue for September and October is “still uncertain”, as it hinges on China’s pace of containing the regional Covid-19 outbreaks and resuming travel, brokerage Sanford C Bernstein Ltd suggested in a Monday memo.
Jan 31, 2023Border-casino operator Donaco International Ltd reported quarterly earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of AUD1.78 million (US$1.25 million) for the fourth...
Total income for 2022 reported by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp