Tourism representatives call on gov’t to lift Covid-19 tests for GBA residents

Lawmaker Mak Soi Kun urged the local government to lift the Covid-19 test requirement in respect of all kinds of border entries.
Well-known local businessman Cora Vong, Chairman of the Travel Industry Council of Macau, has also come forward with the same proposal.
During yesterday’s TDM radio program, Macau Forum, Vong shared his opinions on how to lead Macau’s economy towards a quicker recovery.
In August, the local government launched a promotional scheme to encourage visitors to travel to Macau. Under the scheme, mainland tourists may follow the government’s accounts on two mainland social media platforms to participate in two separate lucky draws to win hotel accommodations and flight privileges.
On one hand, Vong believes that the local government and local business operators should continue to offer promotions, and the effect of each kind of promotion should undergo a review in order to achieve more ideal outcomes.
According to a report by Xinhua, China saw a total of 97 million domestic tourist trips on Thursday October 1, the first day of the eight-day national holiday. Through the first four days of the week-long holiday, some 425 million people traveled domestically, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, nearly 80% of last year’s throngs.
In Vong’s opinion, mainland China’s domestic tourism has recorded an obvious recovery during the National Day Holiday. This indicates that there are hopes for the local economy since it is largely dependent on the mainland China market.
On the other hand, it is vital that Macau must try to change its polices on entry restrictions.
“We can see that movement within mainland provinces does not require a Covid-19 test. Maybe we can also try to lift the test requirement for rather safe places and places with lower Covid-19 risks, starting with Zhuhai or the Greater Bay Area,” said Vong.
However, in Vong’s opinion, the biggest discouragement for mainland visitors is not the Covid-19 test but the travel endorsement application process.
Previously, mainland residents could apply for a travel endorsement to Macau from a self-service kiosk. However, currently, mainland immigration has suspended all kiosk machines. This means that mainlanders have to wait for up to seven days for their travel permit.
In addition, Vong also expressed his concerns about package tours. She noted that, as of today, there are barely any package tour products available for travel to Macau. Vong hopes that mainland China will lift outbound package tour restrictions.
Aside from that, some companies on the mainland, including state-owned companies, have also issued explicit instructions to their workers not to travel outside mainland China, and employees must first gain company approval if they wish to do so.

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