Hong Kong-Macau travel bubble expected in September

Macau is also looking to establish travel bubbles with other countries.
Macau is also looking to establish travel bubbles with other countries.

JP Morgan predicts that the long-awaited travel bubble between Hong Kong and Macau could be launched by September on a “limited scale.”

Macau.- The long-awaited travel bubble between Macau and Hong Kong could be launched in September, JP Morgan predicts.

The plan was delayed this month due to Hon Kong reporting a new case of Covid-19 since June 7. Macau has set a requirement of 28 days with no new cases to launch a travel bubble.

However, Macau authorities are reported to have invited experts from China’s National Health Commission to inspect the situation in Macau and provide opinions on a possible relaxation of travel restrictions with Hong Kong. Macau is also looking to establish travel bubbles with other countries.

Some 41.4 per cent of Hong Kong’s population had received one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. Macau has seen a similar rate, while 28 per cent of the population has received both doses.

Macau has relaxed restrictions with Guangdong amid a fall in Covid-19 cases, a month and a half after imposing a 14-day quarantine on visitors from districts in Guangdong province.

For now, only one city in mainland China remains on Macau’s quarantine list: Ruili, in southwest China’s Yunnan province.

JP Morgan also analysed the current economic status in Macau after the city registered its lowest GGR since November 2020 in June, with a drop of 37 per cent month-on-month. It expects Macau to see a 30 per cent monthly increase in GGR in July fueled by the summer holidays.

Analysts predict that in August Macau GGR could see its best figures since the pandemic began.

Visitor arrivals have started to rebound in July, with an occupancy rate of 52.1 per cent during the first fifteen days of the month, up 8.4 per cent month-on-month with a daily basis of 30,000 visitors.

The Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) has reported that Macau welcomed 3.93m tourists in the first half of 2021, up 20.2 per cent year-on-year.

Macau gaming licences may be extended

Gaming advisor Antonio Lobo Viela believes Macau will extend its six current gaming concessions beyond 2022. In an article for Gaming Law magazine, Lobo Viela said authorities were running out of time to complete a public tender for June 2022.

He said the Macau Government “cannot control the timing of the approval of amendments to Macau Gaming Law, neither can it influence the timetable of discussions held in the newly elected Legislative Assembly.”

He added: “Not having the legal and administrative basis for a tender established in advance constitutes a serious error when the futures of companies operating in Macau’s dominant industry and employing thousands of people are at stake.”

According to the current city’s gaming laws, licences can be extended for up to five years from the original 20-year term.

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