Authorities believe an easing of travel restrictions with Hong Kong and mainland China could help the city reach 10 million tourist visits in 2022.
Macau.- According to the Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO), the city could receive up to 10 million visitors in 2022 if Macau finally resumes the e-visa programme with China and reopens borders with Hong Kong.
Between January to October, the city received 6.08 million tourists, up 32.2 per cent year-on-year. It saw a daily average of 26,655 visitors between November 12 to November 18, while November 19 saw the highest number of arrivals since the beginning of the month with 35,525 visitors for the finale of the 68th Macau Grand Prix. The MGTO has reported that the number of arrivals has continued to increase over the last week.
Macao Government Tourism Office director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes said: “We really hope that by the end of this year, the city will have had over 7 million visits during 2021.”
Lei Wai Nong, Secretary for Economy and Finance, has predicted that GGR for 2022 will be MOP130bn (US$16.2bn), half that seen before the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said that for that it would be crucial to ease travel restrictions with Hong Kong and mainland China.
The reopening of the border between Hong Kong and China could be a crucial step for Macau as Hong Kong has historically accounted for 15 per cent to 20 per cent of Macau’s total gaming revenue. Allowing travel without isolation could help a recovery. Hong Kong and mainland China together account for approximately 90 per cent of Macau’s GGR.