Chinese New Year arrivals at over 113,000

Visitor arrivals for the seven-day long Chinese New Year holiday totaled to 113,699 tourists, far fewer than the average 20,000 daily tourist arrivals the government had initially expected.

Nearly 22,000 tourists visited Macau on the third day of the Lunar New Year (February 3), which was the highest single-day number of visitors during this Spring Festival Golden Week.

The overall figures also showed a 25.4% increase from last year’s Spring Festival.

Average tourist arrivals totaled to 16,242 during the week-long holiday.

However, speaking to TDM, director of the Macao Government Tourism Office, Helena de Senna Fernandes, said the sector’s recovery will be gradual, and noted that the bureau’s offers designed to attract tourists are still in place.

According to information provided by the industry, the average occupancy rate of hotel establishments (hotels, apartment-style hotels and budget accommodation) during the Spring Festival Golden Week was 63.8%, an increase of 15.2 percentage points over last year’s Spring Festival figures. The average occupancy rate of five-star hotels was 70.3%, up 19.3 percentage points.

Two years since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, festivities have returned to the SAR during this Lunar New Year, which fell on Tuesday of last week.

After being suspended for two years, the SAR government resumed celebrations this year, designating certain areas for the public to set off fireworks by themselves.

However, due to the Covid-19 cases that were recorded in neighboring cities, including Zhuhai and Zhongshan, entry restrictions were put in place.

Tourist arrivals from Guangdong Province are required to present a negative Covid-19 test from the previous 48 hours. During the peak of the cases last month, the validity of these tests was reduced to 24 hours, discouraging tourists from visiting Macau.

Hong Kong reaches record case numbers

Hong Kong’s authorities are confronting record cases, straining its so-called “zero-Covid” policy. Yesterday, the city reported a new high of 614 local infections, following the Chinese New Year celebrations.

“We expect there will be more cases coming in a few days. We consider this as some effects [of] the holiday events and clusters,” Edwin Tsui, an official with the Centre for Health Protection, told reporters. 

“With our current containment measures, we hope we can still contain the disease.”

Hong Kong currently requires all cases to be hospitalized. Yesterday, authorities announced that close contacts of infected persons will be allowed to isolate at home, starting from today.

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