Macau tourism sector hoping for rebound in October Golden week

The State Council has designated October 1 to October 7 as this year's holiday.
The State Council has designated October 1 to October 7 as this year's holiday.

The recovery of the tourism sector during the National holidays will depend on a relaxation of the Covid-19 countermeasures in mainland China.

Macau.- Although the government of Macau has begun to relax its Covid-19 countermeasures reopening its borders to 41 countries, all eyes are mainland China for the success or failure of the October Golden Week.

Andy Wu Keng Kuong, president of the Macau Travel Industry Council, told GGRAsia that if Chinese authorities can tackle Covid outbreaks and ease testing rules for travellers, Macau’s tourism sector might get a boost in time for the national holiday.

In 2021, only 8,159 people arrived in Macau during the October Golden week due to a new outbreak of Covid-19 cases. The daily average of visitors was down 93.7 per cent compared with the previous year. In October Golden Week 2020, 156,300 visitors travelled to Macau.

This year, China’s State Council has designated October 1 to 7 as Golden Week. Authorities in mainland China reported 1,499 new cases of Covid-19 infection on Monday (September 5), most of them asymptomatic. In Guangdong province bordering Macau, 58 new local Covid-19 infections were registered on Monday in cities including Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Huizhou and Jiangmen.

The Chinese mainland is the only place to have a largely quarantine-free travel arrangement with Macau. However, China’s strict zero-Covid-19 strategy with periodic mass testing and lockdowns has impacted tourism heavily.

Macau GGR could be up 70% in September, analysts say

Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd has reported that Macau recorded MOP88m in daily gross gambling revenue for the first week of September. That was up 12 per cent when compared to the previous week.

Based on the figures, analysts now forecast Macau’s GGR for September could be up 70 per cent when compared to last month and down 83 per cent versus pre-pandemic levels. As ever, analysts pointed out that revenue “could be lower if China Covid-19 outbreaks further hurt travel sentiment and visitation into Macau does not pick up.”

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