Macau Is Ready To Open Its Casinos And Is Positive On Increasing Tourist Arrivals

Image by Macau Photo Agency
Article by : Helen Jan 25, 2021

2020 was a difficult year for every industry, and the Covid-19 virus showed how our lives could turn upside down. The gambling market is one of the businesses that experienced significant obstacles in the working process, and Macau, the area where everything is focused on casinos, was hitten the most. The gross gaming revenue (GGR) decreased by 75% as far as the number of visitors in casinos and hotels was much lower. Anyway, Macau stays positive and believes that 202 will be more fortunate, so they are ready to open their properties and resume work.

Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lei Wai Nong, has stated that during this year Macau will be able to get the GGR of around $16.28 billion. Secretary also added that the city’s economy would be “stable and positive.” Although the number of visitation wasn’t too high last year, the level of tourist arrivals in Macau increased at the end of 2020. This was caused by relaxing visa travel regulations by Mainland China at the beginning of the third quarter, so more people were able to visit the city to celebrate Christmas and New Year.

According to Macau SAR (China) Visitor Arrivals, 323,794 persons visited Macau in November 2020, and it is 15,572 more than in October 2020. The lowest attendance rate was recorded in April 2020 when 6,383 persons only came to Macau. It was an unprecedented rate compared to August 2018, when 1,800,246 persons visited the city, and it has been an all-time highest rate.

We are trying to keep mainland visitors to stay longer in Macau if the number of visitors does not increase greatly. We need to improve our services and products to make our visitors feel welcome and warm, and to attract them to visit Macau again.

The city’s main goal for the current year is to lure people who have already come to Macau to stay for a longer period of time. Once the number of new virus cases fell, and it seems the world knew how to deal with Covid-19 spreading, strict travel rules were relaxed. Visitors from foreign countries were required to provide a negative coronavirus test done one week before the visit. However, once new spikes of Covid-19 have recently started to appear more frequently, the timeframe for a negative test was reduced, meaning a test is accepted if it is done 72 hours before a visit. The fact that more infections started to appear may lead to decreasing in visitation as far as travelers might delay journeys.

Moreover, there are some limitations for people who desire to visit Macau. For example, tourists from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Mainland China are prohibited from visiting Macau if they have entered a foreign country 21 days before arriving in the city.

Covid-19 is not the only anxiety for the gaming industry in Macau because anti-gambling laws introduced in China can impact the gaming business in Macau too. In accordance with the laws, it is prohibited to promote offshore gambling in Mainland. There is also a chance that marketing Macau’s casino properties will be banned too. “I believe that we have to observe the mainland China law as well as Macau’s gaming law and the relevant gaming regulations. That is a must. We have been making adjustments to our gaming law… and on our anti-money laundering standards. We will continue to work well on those aspects so that our gaming industry can sustain healthy development,” explained Lei Wai Nong.

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