Macau unlikely to ease travel restrictions until next year – analysts

Macau may not ease restrictions until 2022.
Macau may not ease restrictions until 2022.

Sanford Bernstein predicts Macau won’t ease travel restrictions until next year, but an improvement in Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) is expected for the fourth quarter of 2021.

Macau.- Although Macau’s mass testing detected no new Covid-19 cases, analysts at Sanford Bernstein believe a significant easing of travel restrictions won’t happen until next year. However, they expect an improvement in GGR in the fourth quarter of the current year.

Analysts expect the current rise in Covid-19 cases in China will last at least a month, and a Macau-Hong Kong bubble travel is not likely to happen soon.

Authorities have implemented new controls requiring all visitors to Macau from any mainland Chinese city to hold a negative nucleic acid test certificate for Covid-19.

During the first week of August, GGR declined by 48 per cent at MOP125m (US$15.6m). The figure is the lowest since last September.

Sanford Bernstein revealed that VIP average daily volumes were down 40 per cent when compared to July, while average daily mass GGR dropped 50 per cent.

Analysts expected Macau’s GGR for August to be down 60 per cent when compared to August 2019 and down 30 per cent when compared to July 2021. Meanwhile, Andy Wu Keng Kuong, president of Macau Travel Industry Council, said the city now expects an average hotel occupancy rate of less than 50 per cent for August.

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