Concern grows over Covid-19 cases and the impact on Macau’s Labour Day break

Covid-19 cases in mainland China could affect arrivals for the holiday.
Covid-19 cases in mainland China could affect arrivals for the holiday.

Ho Iat Seng, Macau’s chief executive, has voiced concerns for the holiday period if Covid-19 cases remain high in China.

Macau.- Macau authorities are closely monitoring the evolution of Covid-19 cases in mainland China as the Labour Day holiday period approaches.

Macau’s chief executive, Ho Iat Seng, said: “Today is the 12th already. If we do not see a zero-Covid-19 case scenario [in mainland China] by this month’s end, we are going to have a big problem with the Labour Day holiday.”

However, he said that after the current wave of Covid-19 infections on the mainland, including in Shanghai and Guangdong, has passed and the situation stabilise, the city will resume negotiations with mainland authorities to restart package tour visa issuance.

Yesterday, Wong Fai, president of Macau Leisure Tourism Services Innovation Association, told GGRAsia that hopes for the Labour Day holiday period “are going to be dashed” if Macau retains the requirement for visitors entering via the neighbouring province of Guangdong to hold a negative nucleic acid Covid-19 test certificate issued within 24 hours before arrival.

China’s State Council has designated April 30 to May 4 as this year’s Labour Day break, a period which usually sees strong market demand in Macau. Last year 165,500 tourists came to Macau during the Labour Day holiday period. The first day was the peak, with 44,000 arrivals.

Macau GGR won’t return to pre-pandemic levels until 2027, UBS says

The global financial services firm UBS estimates that Macau’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) is unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2027. It predicts a 29 per cent drop in revenue this year, forecasting sales of around $12bn, 34 per cent of 2019 levels ($36bn).

Mass market revenue is expected to reach 90 per cent of pre-Covid levels this year, compared to 25 per cent for VIP. UBS has also cut its 2023 forecast by 15 per cent due to the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak in mainland China. It now predicts GGR for 2023 will reach 64 per cent of 2019 levels.

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