Travel sector confident of city’s economic recovery

The city’s travel sector has expressed hope that a number of tourists will visit Macau after border controls normalize.

This comes after the Macau government has announced that people travelling from Macau to Zhuhai must return a negative nucleic acid test (NAT) result taken within 24 hours to be eligible for quarantine-free travel.

Those traveling from Zhuhai to Macau must return a negative NAT result from within 48 hours. 

“I believe that the effect will appear soon after the promotion work by the Macau Government occurs; maybe tomorrow will see it,” Andy Wu, president of the Travel Industry Council of Macau, told the Times yesterday.

Wu believes that the number of travelers will increase gradually due to the government’s promotional work, the resumption of customs clearance between Zhuhai and Macau and travelers visiting Macau not needing to quarantine if presenting a valid negative NAT result. 

“Macau is dominated by self-guided tourists, and most tourists are from the Guangdong area,” Wu added.

He noted that the “Hong Kong-Macau travel” mode has been deeply rooted in the heart of mainland tourists. Hong Kong and the mainland have suspended customs clearance for over two years, and many tourists believed they also needed to quarantine if visiting Macau. Wu emphasized that informing mainland residents through online and offline means that Macau is a safe city to visit is important for the recovery of tourism. 

With the situation in flux and several factors recently changing, such as the stabilization period and the normalization of border controls, Wu said that number of travelers arriving at the moment won’t immediately equal previous numbers. 

“First, I hope that it will reach one thousand people, and then two thousand people,” Wu said. 

Expressing hope that authorities will launch more promotional measures to increase the number of tourists, Wu said, “I hope [it will again be the case] that travelers who visit Macau must hold a negative NAT result within 48 hours, [and] more restrictive customs clearance measures will be lifted when […] safe [to do so].”

The sector representative explained that tourists will have more confidence in Macau after pandemic prevention measures ease, they will also feel safe and expect to travel to Macau, and the economy of Macau will gradually recover.

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