China’s Trip.com, one of the country’s leading providers of online booking and information services for travellers, says it is working with the Macau government and Chinese online technology group Tencent Holdings Ltd, to distribute “travel coupons” worth a total of CNY150 million (US$22.0 million) to mainland Chinese tourists, for them to use when booking hotels in Macau.
A Thursday press release from Trip.com said that travellers would be able via its software application to use coupons “and enjoy up to 50 percent, or CNY500, off when they make their reservation”.
Trip.com added that Sun Bo (pictured right), its group chief marketing officer, had met Cheng Wai Tong (pictured left), deputy director of Macao Government Tourism Office, “to discuss further collaborations that will reinvigorate tourism to Macau”.
Thursday’s release added that the previous day, James Liang, co-founder and chairman of Trip.com, had for the first time delivered from Macau his online “Boss Live“ show, said to be popular with Chinese consumers because of its promotional giveaways.
The online firm said the Macau edition of the show had attracted more than 5.7 million viewers, generating gross merchandise value exceeding CNY65.34 million, from a total of 35,821 orders. The release didn’t mention if those orders were all for trips or services in the Macau market.
October 1 to 8 inclusive marks this year’s autumn Golden Week holiday period in China, and there have been hopes among investors that the festival could see a revival in the earnings of Macau casino resorts.
From Wednesday (September 23) the Chinese authorities started accepting across the mainland exit visa applications for trips to Macau, under China’s Individual Visit Scheme (IVS). Before that, only people from Guangdong had been able to apply for such permits. The issuance of such visas had been suspended earlier this year, amid the pandemic.
Macau’s government launched on September 1 a MOP400-million (US$50.0-million) spending-stimulus scheme aimed at mainland tourists. It includes discount offers on flight tickets and hotel accommodation, according to an official announcement.
The city’s casino-resort brands are taking part in a short marketing campaign starting on Saturday (September 26) in China’s capital, Beijing, to attract its residents to visit Macau, as the market works to recover from the tourism slump associated with Covid-19.
Direct marketing of gambling is not permitted in mainland China, so the resort sector will be presenting a “Macau Tourism Exhibition” as part of “Beijing Macao Week,” which is being organised by the Macao Government Tourism Office.
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"I believe that when Macau makes a decision, there is going to be a requirement to invest more"
Chairman and chief executive of Las Vegas Sands