China’s travel surged in Ching Ming; MGTO eyes more visitors in May

The Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) is set to mount a series of online-and-offline promotions in mainland cities before Golden Week in May to entice more mainland holidaymakers to visit Macau, MGTO director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes said.
Fernandes’ remarks came after China saw some bullish tourism statistics during the Ching Ming Festival.
According to data released yesterday by Group, one of China’s largest online travel agencies, the group’s total domestic travel bookings for the Ching Ming Festival, April 4, surged 300% year on year.
Moreover, domestic air ticket booking during the festival saw a double-digit increase compared to 2019. These statistics indicate a strong recovery in travel sentiment among mainland tourists.
On the back of China’s robust tourism performance last week, Fernandes is looking to boost visitor numbers over the Golden Week holiday from May 1 to 5.
Fernandes said the MGTO is planning to launch a series of promotions in various mainland cities. The campaigns will promote Macau as a safe and healthy destination using a hybrid format of both online and offline activities.
“These promotional campaigns can be deemed the first to touch base with mainland residents face-to-face since the outbreak of the pandemic,” Fernandes told TDM.
Fernandes thinks that a hybrid format of advertising will be the principal approach for MGTO to promote Macau’s tourism brand in the future.
The offline, in-person promotion is considered more constructive to build a deeper connection with residents in China, she said.
Fernandes is anticipating an uptake in tourist numbers in the May Golden Week, traditionally a peak travel season for mainland tourists. However, it will be predicated on a stable pandemic situation in China, she added.
Apart from the MGTO, the international investment bank, JP Morgan, is also expecting Macau’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) to ramp up during Golden Week in May, partly due to a continuously improving travel sentiment and the release of pent-up travel demand among mainland tourists.
“We expect GGR to keep improving sequentially in April (MOP8.4-9.0 billion) and May (MOP11 billion), with the pace of recovery ramping-up from the May Golden Week, and to further accelerate into 2H with more re-opening and travel easing,” the bank stated earlier.

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