Macau unlikely to ease travel limits this year, analysts say

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

Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd has predicted that the removal of travel barriers to enter Macau won’t happen until 2022.

Macau.- According to analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd, Macau is unlikely to remove its travel restrictions for people coming from places beyond mainland China before 2022.

However, analysts predicted GGR will start to improve in the fourth quarter. GGR in September could reach about 30 per cent of pre-pandemic levels and 40 per cent in October.

They added: “Longer term, Individual Visit Scheme eVisa, group visa restart, and Hong Kong travel resumption will be necessary to drive gross gaming revenue (GGR) upwards.”

The Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) has predicted the city could receive 30,000 visitors per day during the October Golden Week.

According to Macau TDM, Andy Wu, president of the Travel Industry Council of Macau, said: “The number of tourists keeps rising, especially during weekends, after the validity period of the nucleic acid test is reverted to seven days.

“When it comes to the October 1 Golden Week, I hope we can exceed the record of 30,000 visitors per day during the May Day Golden Week.”

Last year, the number of visitors entering the city surpassed 20,000 a day on average.

Authorities in Hong Kong have recently announced that Macau ID holders and Guangdong residents could travel to Hong Kong without compulsory quarantine on arrival from September 15.

Hong Kong will run a campaign dubbed Come2HK. Visitors will need to show a negative Covid-19 test and undergo further testing during their stay in Hong Kong.

Macau to revise 2021 GGR forecast

Lei Wai Nong, Macau’s secretary for economy and finance has said that Macau is revising GGR forecasts for the year for the city’s revised budget, which will be submitted to the Legislative Assembly.

The announcement was made after the city recorded GGR or MOP$4.44bn (US$554.5m) for August, down 47.7 per cent month-on-month and the lowest monthly GGR figure since September 2020.

Analysts at Fitch Ratings Inc have predicted Macau’s GGR will be down 65 per cent from 2019 levels, closing close to MOP102.4bn this year.

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