The director of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), Helena Maria de Senna Fernandes, said that the tourism board is not expecting a bounce in visitor arrival numbers during the upcoming October 1 week-long holiday, known as Golden Week. This is due to existing travel restrictions, including the requirement for visitors to show a negative Covid-19 test result.
Applications for tourist endorsements have resumed gradually on the mainland. Applications resumed for Zhuhai residents on August 12 and for Guangdong residents on August 26. As per the current timeline, applications for all mainland residents will resume on September 23.
However, visitor arrivals have remained mostly unchanged since the first two phases of endorsement resumption began.
Although they are expecting gradual growth in visitor arrivals in the months ahead, the MGTO head said it is difficult to make a precise forecast for this Golden Week. In her opinion, Macau should not expect a huge influx of tourists from the mainland.
Currently, with the resumption of travel endorsement in Guangdong, there are on average 15,000 visitor arrivals each day. During the pandemic, there were only 200 arrivals per day on the quieter days.
Upon the announcement of the resumption of mainland travel endorsement to Macau, parts of the business sector and of the public were expecting an influx of visitors. Citing special border-crossing measures, the MGTO head said that this would not happen.
She explained that members of the public should learn to get accustomed to the new mode of travel, including the requirement for a negative Covid-19 test result and conversion of health codes. Immigration procedures would take longer, she said.
Meanwhile, ferry services between Macau and Shenzhen also resumed late last week. The ferry services are now operating on two routes, namely Outer Harbor-Shekou and Taipa-Shekou. The government disclosed that on the first two days of service resumption, there were about 200 passengers each day.