Macau gaming and tourism to recover in 2022, analysts say

Authorities in Macau hope to reach 10 million tourist visits in 2022.
Authorities in Macau hope to reach 10 million tourist visits in 2022.

Analysts at Fitch Ratings Inc. have predicted that Macau’s gaming and tourism sectors recovery will gain steam in mid-2022.

Macau.- Macau’s economy is slowly gaining momentum following continued disruption from the Covid-19 pandemic this year, and analysts believe the city will continue to recover in the upcoming months. The Fitch Ratings 2022 Outlook: Greater China report analyses Macau’s perspectives for 2022 and predicts a more stable recovery for the gaming and tourism sectors.

According to Fitch Ratings, Macau’s economic growth rate in 2022 will increase from 25 per cent in 2021 to 36 per cent.  Analysts highlight the impact of higher vaccination rates and the phased resumption of the electronic version of the Individual Visit Scheme (IVS).

However, analysts noted that Macau is expected to maintain its explicit Covid-zero policy and will prioritise the return of tourists from mainland China. As such, they noted that the recovery “will depend on China’s evolving cross-border tourism and gaming policies, which may be temporarily interrupted by the virus outbreak.”

They note that Macau’s gaming industry will continue to be the main source of income despite a recent emphasis on the importance of diversifying the economy.

Macau reported gross gambling revenue of MOP6.75bn (US$844m) for November. According to the Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO, between January to October, the city received 6.08 million tourists, up 32.2 per cent year-on-year. Macao Government Tourism Office director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes has said the city hoped to have over 7 million visits by the end of the year.

She has predicted that Macau could receive up to 10 million visitors in 2022 if Macau finally reopens borders with Hong Kong.

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. Mainland China continues to be the only country to have a largely quarantine-free travel bubble with Macau. 

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