Quarantine Requirements Lessen for Two Areas Near Macau
Officials are letting visitors enter Macau if they are located in certain cities of Guangdong.
For many months now, Macau has suffered from low tourism numbers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Travel restrictions have stopped players from visiting and led to lower-than-expected revenues. Macau has done well in keeping the virus at bay, but by keeping people out, it has led to a slow recovery process. This week it was revealed that the SAR has decided to ease some of its requirements to allow visitors from neighboring areas of Guangdong.
In early June, an outbreak of COVID-19 in Guangdong province led officials in Macau to set tough mandates. Visitors coming from areas adjacent to the province were subjected to strict quarantine orders.
Anyone traveling to Macau from Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Zhanjiang, Foshan, or Maoming would need to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival. This put a strain on the tourism industry as no one wants or is really able to quarantine for two weeks just to visit an area, even if for gaming.
Yesterday, the Macau Government Tourism Office announced that Moaming and Shenzhen are no longer placed on the quarantine list. Macau is pretty isolated and has only been allowing entry from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China, with a negative COVID-19 test.
It seems that the number of positive tests in these regions must be lower, so officials in Macau feel better about allowing visitors to come in. For travelers from Taiwan, a test had to be submitted after taking it in three days or less. In Hong Kong, test results must be from the previous 24 hours. China travelers have a one-week time frame.
Gross Gaming Revenue Drop
Because of limited travel, it is expected that the financial recovery process will continue to be delayed. Non-residents are limited to the entry process and analysts predict that gross gaming revenues for June will be less than initially expected.
Bernstein financial firm says that casinos in the SAR will see a drop of 34% when compared to May totals. That would equal to around $865 million if correct. Last month, the region brought in over $1.3 billion.
In a note, the firm stated that the travel impediments are still in place and daily visitor totals and departures are on a lower weekly average. From Jun 7 to 13, only around 30,000 people traveled in and out. At the end of May into June, the totals were more than 25% higher.
If the travel restrictions were to ease, it is expected that the visitor numbers would increase. This would lead to more earnings for Macau. However, more outbreaks in nearby provinces might also lead to further travel restrictions.
Macau is working hard to bring in visitors, in any way possible. The tourism office recently launched a marketing campaign in the hopes of luring in travelers. Titled “Stay, Dine, and See Macau” the new program encourages people from the mainland to come in and have a staycation in Macau.
The tourism office has created more than a dozen trip itineraries for residents and visitors to take advantage of. The various trips highlight family friendly activities as well as history and thrill seeking options. If the trips are appealing enough, the tourism office feels that more people will be willing to travel from the mainland, even if just for a night or two.
Right now, casinos are offering five-star hotel rooms at deep discount prices. In order to bring in the gamblers, the lower hotel rates have been set for nice rooms, including on weekend days. We shall see in the coming weeks if these deals are working or perhaps the slight lift in restrictions might bring in more people to Macau.