Macau October Golden Week at risk amid local Covid-19 cases

Authorities were expecting 40,000 daily visitors during the national holiday.
Authorities were expecting 40,000 daily visitors during the national holiday.

An outbreak of two local Covid-19 cases has endangered Macau’s expectations for the October Golden Week.

Macau.- The government of Macau has reported two local Covid-19 cases over the weekend, and analysts believe this could lead to a cancellation of the highly expected October Golden Week.

A week ago, Andy Wu, president of the Travel Industry Council of Macau, had predicted the city could receive 40,000 daily visitors during the holiday period. Macao Government Tourism Office director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes had predicted 35,000 visitors a day.

However, analysts at JP Morgan Securities now believe expectations for the national holiday could be deeply affected by new countermeasures.

They said: “While there’s still a possibility that travel restrictions could be lifted before/during Golden Week, we think it’s a foregone conclusion that it will be an ungolden holiday, as many players are likely to cancel the trips to avoid risks of being quarantined upon their return to mainland.”

Current countermeasures are similar to those the government imposed in August after the city reported local Covid-19 cases. At the time, Macau carried out mass testing for Covid-19, in which 716,251 people were tested, all of them returning negative results.

Authorities have suspended the “Stay, Dine and See Macao” initiative that let Macau residents book government-subsidised staycations at hotels and guest houses.

Bookings cancelled during the weekend

Andy Wu Keng Kuong, Macau Travel Industry Council president, has revealed that people have already started to cancel reservations for the October Golden Week.

Keng Kuong told GGRAsia: “The initial expectation for the October Golden Week was that the Cotai casino resorts might see an average occupancy rate at 80 per cent to 90 per cent. 

“But that rate now might stand at just 50 per cent to 60 per cent, as many cancellations of bookings had happened throughout the weekend following Macau’s news of the new Covid-19 infection cases.”

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

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