Macau residents and workers join CNY travel rush

Macau witnessed a robust flow of cross- border movement during the Spring Festival, which lasted from February 4 to 10. The region welcomed over 1.21 million visitor arrivals during the holiday, up 26.6 percent over the corresponding period last year, the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) revealed yesterday.

The figures released by the MGTO show that the highest number of arrivals occurred on Thursday February 7, with 226,874 arrivals recorded.

According to a report issued by the Xinhua news agency yesterday, the Chinese New Year holiday “is changing the festive life of local people and Southeast Asian employees, as well as the traffic flow in the region.”

Chan Laimen, a Macau resident in her early 30s, opted to travel back with her family to her ancestral home for a reunion in Zhangzhou, in southeast China’s Fujian province.

“This year I [will] take the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge to start my trip to Zhangzhou. I will join my cousin in Hong Kong SAR and go back to Shenzhen by high-speed train, like other Chinese people will do during the Spring Festival travel rush.”

She said some of her friends had traveled to Thailand or Japan to spend the week-long holiday, instead of going back to their hometowns. Chan’s housekeeper, Nguyen Hao, a 51-year-old

Vietnamese resident, also enjoyed the festive holiday. She was making plans to go back to Hanoi and take a week off while Chan’s family is in Fujian.

“I will go back to Hanoi from Macau by air in [a] one-hour trip. It is even faster than my relatives coming from other cities of Vietnam,” Nguyen told Xinhua.

The MSAR had over 60,000 migrant employees from Southeast Asian countries working in home, hotel and restaurant services at the end of 2018, according to the SAR’s migrant control department. Among them, about 15,000 are from Vietnam.

Most of them will go back home during the Spring Festival. Some of the other foreign migrant workers from the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia will also travel back to their hometowns, helping to apply remarkable traffic pressures on airlines operating from Macau International Airport (MIA). MIA saw passenger traffic volume and aircraft movements increase by 20 percent and 15 percent respectively in January 2019, compared to the same period last year.

In the first three days of the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar, over 80,000 inbound and outbound trips were made through the airport. Vicki Mou, MIA public relations official, said that the surging traffic flow in and out of Macau can be attributed to the region’s attractive

tourism industry, local residents’ outbound travel and the homecoming trips of foreign migrant workers, which all add up during this Spring Festival. MDT/Xinhua

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