Macau Expects up to 60,000 tourists per day during the CNY Season
The figure represents a significant improvement over the previous three years, when COVID-related entry measures, strict testing, and lockdowns have significantly reduced tourism numbers.
The SAR’s tourism authority already reported that 55,000 tourists had entered the city on Saturday, smashing previous visitation records during the pandemic period.
The head of the tourism bureau told TDM Canal Macau that “we won’t have 55,000 visitors every day, but we are still expecting an average of 47,000 visitors”.
Macau recently lifted entry restrictions for mainland Chinese, Taiwanese, and Hong Kong visitors and eliminated all quarantine requirements for non-Chinese visitors, signaling the end of a difficult period for Macau’s gaming operators and the economy as a whole.
Despite the relaxation of measures on January 8th and the previous implementation of eVisas for China last year, group tours have yet to be authorized by mainland authorities, despite visitors entering on individual visas and joining local tours upon arrival in the SAR.
Speaking of the group tours, the head of the tourism bureau lamented the lack of organized visitation, noting that “we still don’t have tour groups, we still haven’t received any updates (from mainland Chinese authorities) regarding that, and until we can resumre that form of travel than we might not be able to return to the levels we were seeing in 2019”.
The tourism chief revealed the expectations to local broadcaster TDM Canal Macau, slightly dampening expectations for a stronger increase after the SAR saw 46,000 visitors on Friday (the 13th), much higher than the total average recorded during the entire year of 2022.
Nearly 1 million mainland Chinese residents have reportedly applied for entry permits to Macau and Hong Kong since authorities eased restrictions, and improved transit between the two specially administered regions and mainland China is expected to boost tourism even further.
The mainland authorities have set the CNY holiday period for January 21st to 27th, with up to 70% of the city’s 44,000 hotel rooms already reserved.
According to Macau tourism office data, the figure is a significant increase from the 42.2 percent occupancy rate seen in December, which was a 9.4 percent drop year on year.
Among the December figures, Macau’s five-star operators were the hardest hit, with a 10.2 percent drop in occupancy to 39.9 percent.
During the first 11 months of the year, hotel occupancy fell 14.5 percent year on year to 39 percent, with five-star hotels registering only 35.8 percent occupancy, down 13.1 percent year on year.
Aside from its primary source market, mainland China, Hong Kong is aiming for an influx of visitors, with up to 10,000 visitors from the neighboring Special Administrative Region expected if transportation improves.
The tourism office currently estimates that around 6,000 visitors arrive daily from Hong Kong, a significant increase from the 1,000 registered prior to the opening.
“Currently we still have some constraints regarding the number of ferries and buses (running between the SARs),” the tourism head told the broadcaster.
“Gradually, as the supply of routes increases, the number of tourists from Hong Kong will increase. I hope that we can reach 10,000 daily visitors from Hong Kong,” noted the tourism bureau head.
Links between mainland China and Hong Kong are also improving, with the two territories resuming the high-speed rail link after nearly three years of inactivity, with the first arrival of mainland passengers to the city on Sunday.
Despite the improvements in travel, a wave of infections sweeping mainland China and the two SARs has some concerned, with Beijing authorities noting that 60,000 deaths were recorded in just one day, and estimates that up to 1 million COVID deaths have been recorded in mainland China this year.
Source : agbrief
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