Macau sees holiday tourism boost as coronavirus pandemic subsides | Inquirer Business
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Macau sees holiday tourism boost as coronavirus pandemic subsides

/ 12:25 PM October 11, 2020
Macau buildings and casinos

A view of the hotel-casinos is pictured in Macau on Dec 19, 2019. AFP

HONG KONG — Macau’s tourism market is rebounding from the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak as the special administrative region reopens its doors to mainland visitors after the pandemic stabilized.

The city saw 139,280 tourist arrivals Oct 1-7, the first seven days of the Chinese mainland’s eight-day National Day holiday, according to government statistics. Though the number dropped 85.7 percent year-on-year, it marked a recovery from the depth of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Mainland visitors comprised 129,967 arrivals during the seven days, down 83.6 percent compared with the same period a year earlier. Visas for individual travel to Macau from the Chinese mainland were restored on Sept 23.

Market players in Macau’s tourism industry said occupancy rates at local hotels during the holiday reached about 50 percent of last year’s level, while prices were roughly 40 percent of those in the same period last year.

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While group tours haven’t recovered yet, the outlook for Macao’s tourism market in the medium term is positive, but could be slow, said Wong Fai, president of the Travel Industry Council of Macao.

According to a survey by Associacae Industrial e Comercial das Ilhas de Macau, a local industry association, Macao merchant sales were 20 to 30 percent higher during the holiday compared to when the coronavirus struck the city.

The number of new shops is increasing, reflecting growing confidence among Macao merchants in the outlook of the city’s tourism industry, the survey said.

Meanwhile, Shenzhen, in Guangdong province, received over 5.46 million tourists, generating 5.34 billion yuan (US$796 million) in revenue during the holiday period, official data shows.

The figures show that Shenzhen’s tourism market has recovered to about 80 percent of the level in the same period last year, local officials said.

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TAGS: Business, China, coronavirus, Coronavirus Outbreak, coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, holiday, Macau, Tourism
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