According to Fitch, the recovery will be boosted by the easing of travel restrictions with Hong Kong and the availability of a vaccine.
Macau.- The easing of travel restrictions with Hong Kong and the potential availability of Covid-19 vaccines could lead the Macau gaming sector to a recovery in the second half of 2021, according to a report by Fitch.
The report said: “Individual visit scheme visas application requirements and processing times vary by province and remain a source of friction for visitation to Macau from mainland China. Travel restrictions with Hong Kong are also a headwind.”
Numbers for the second half of the year showed a slight increase in revenues. Gaming revenues rose by 228 per cent from September to October, reaching some MOP7.27 billion. However, it still represents a 72.5 per cent drop when compared to the same month of 2019.
Hong Kong authorities have been allowing residents to return from Macau and Guangdong without the need for a 14-day quarantine since November 23, but arrivals from Hong Kong to Macau are still required to go through medical observation.
Fitch wrote: “Amid higher Covid-19 cases globally, targeted measures such as temporary closures and heightened operating restrictions are possible. However, we expect an impact from such measures to be less acute in 2021 relative to 2020.
“The potential vaccine availability will allow destination markets like Singapore and Las Vegas to begin recovering more in earnest in 2H21”.
Chief executive Ho Iat Seng recently said that the recovery of Macau’s economy, tourism and employment will only be possible with a Covid-19 vaccine and only if all residents take it. Local health authorities announced they plan to purchase 1.4 million doses of a vaccine to cover the city’s residents.