Macau gaming firms using private jets to bring in overseas customers

Macau aims to attract more overseas players.
Macau aims to attract more overseas players.

Operators used private jets to bring customers from Southeast Asian countries to Macau in January.

Macau.- Charter flights operator TAG Aviation Macau FBO says gaming concessionaires are turning to private jets to bring in more foreign visitors. General manager Rita Tam told Macau Daily most private jet visits in January were for entertainment, travel and leisure, although some were business travellers with global retail brands.

Tam said the company is confident that the business jet market in Macau will recover to over 50 per cent of 2019 levels this year. In 2019, Macau International Airport handled a total of 2,768 private jet flights, an increase of 350 per cent from 781 in 2007.

The development follows the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions in January, which has encouraged gaming operators to become more proactive in attracting overseas customers. Sands China and MGM China Holdings have opened gaming zones exclusively for foreign players in their casinos.

Last year, Macau encouraged such a move, offering an exemption from the 5 per cent levy on gross gaming revenue from these areas.

A week ago, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, the director of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) said Macau wanted to increase the number of international visitors this year. Speaking at a public event, she said that the MGTO aims to increase the percentage of non-Chinese visitors beyond the 2.2 per cent achieved in January.

According to data from Macau’s Statistics and Census Service, people from the Philippines, South Korea, Indonesia, Japan, and the United States made up just 1.4 per cent of Macau’s 1.39 million visitor arrivals in January

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