Macau’s inbound visitor volume has declined in recent days due to the recent Covid-19 outbreak in Shanghai, in mainland China, said on Thursday the director of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes (pictured in a file photo). Shanghai is one of the major source of visitors to Macau, she explained.
The average daily number of visitors to Macau amounted to about 11,000 in recent days, said the MGTO head, speaking at a meeting organised by a local trade association. The average daily tally of inbound visitors had been 17,000 in March, and about 23,000 in February, she noted.
Ms Senna Fernandes said additionally that the neighbouring Guangdong province, as well as Fujian province, and Shanghai city were the top three sources of visitors to Macau.
“Whenever there are problems in our biggest source markets, it directly impacts our [volume of] visitors,” said the MGTO boss, referring to the current Covid-19 outbreak in Shanghai.
She added: “Due to the situation in Shanghai, Air Macau has also suspended flights from there.”
Shanghai, China’s most populous urban centre, is grappling with the country’s largest Covid-19 outbreak, locking down nearly all of its 26 million residents. The city reported more than 21,000 new infections on Thursday, including 20,398 new asymptomatic coronavirus cases, according to local authorities.
The MGTO director also said she was not expecting any further easing in travel restrictions with mainland China in the near term, due to the Covid-19 situation there. To date, mainland China remains the only place that has a largely quarantine-free travel arrangement with Macau.
But several mainland Chinese cities had been slowing or tightening Macau-bound individual visit scheme visas, with varied reasons cited by the respective immigration officers, a JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd report suggested so in a late February memo.
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