Tour guide business crumbles in Macau

Despite a 16% increase in visitor arrivals from mainland Chinese in the first seven months of the year, the tourism industry is complaining about a two-month-long “winter,” as reported by local Chinese media outlet Cheng Pou.
At the end of August, the industry conducted a survey with the Federation of Trade Unions (FAOM), receiving responses from about 350 tour guides and coach drivers, among other industry workers.
From July to the end of August, more than 90% of respondents experienced a fall in the number of tour groups they received. More than half of the respondents claimed an 80% fall in their earnings. Seventy percent were worried about their earnings prospects in the coming months.
The industry attributed the cause to difficulties following changes in the mainland visa policy, as well as “external” factors and the protests in Hong Kong. It explained that tour groups from the mainland normally travel to the two Special Administrative Regions on a single, combined trip.
Most respondents want the government to improve the environment in the industry. They also pointed out that the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HKZMB) has boosted tourist headcounts but not spending.
The industry has urged the government to make use of the Greater Bay Area. The government should explore more tourism products that entail travelling to nearby cities, as the industry put it.
In response, the Macau Government Tourism Office disclosed that it will meet with mainland authorities to develop diverse tourism products. The authority also wants to collaborate with the industry on the provision of new products, taking advantage of the 20th anniversary of the Macau handover. The industry expects the products will create synergy in other industries, such as hotels and aviation. The tourism authority hopes that these new products will help revive the industry. Anthony Lam

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