Area representative with low expectations for the Mid-Autumn visit
Tourist arrivals may not reach a satisfactory level during the ongoing Mid-Autumn Festival as mainland authorities have urged the public to stay at home and reduce travel during the holidays, the chairman said. Macau Tourism Industry and Commerce Federation Association, Leng Sai Wai, told the Macau News Agency (MNA).
Wu Liangyou, deputy director of the National Health Commission’s Disease Prevention and Control Office, told a press conference yesterday that the public should stay put during the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival and the National Day holiday of Golden Week and limit inter-city travel to avoid the risk of epidemics caused by large-scale movement of people.
From September 10 to October 31, mainland residents will be required to show a negative nucleic acid test (NAT) result within 48 hours when traveling by plane, train, and passenger vehicle or boat between provinces, and those traveling through provinces will be required to take a “voluntary nucleic acid test” upon arrival.
In addition, individuals are required to hold a negative NAT result taken within 72 hours to enter hotels or tourist attractions, and to avoid holding “unnecessary large gathering activities” such as trainings, exhibitions and cultural performances.
Leng told MNA that the tourism industry in Macau will “certainly be affected” as pandemic outbreaks in some mainland provinces and the policy that calls on residents to stay at home will negatively impact tourists’ intentions to visit. the RAS.
Due to the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic in various cities across the mainland, many local governments have also sent out announcements asking residents to stay put and reduce travel during the upcoming holidays.
“The situation in the Mid-Autumn Festival will not be optimistic, because the government does not encourage people to go out, which means people will not travel to other places, so how can we have tourists visiting the SAR?” said Long.
Meanwhile, he pointed out that the possibility of the average number of daily visitors reaching around 20,000 during the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday is low, due to calls for reduced travel and the requirement to 24 hour COVID test in customs entry policy.
The Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) hopes visitor arrivals can return to levels above 20,000 and 40,000 and even between 30,000 and 40,000 before China’s National Day on Oct. 1, its director said. deputy Cheng Wai Tong.
“As long as the development situation of COVID-19 remains stable, visitors will gradually return to Macao,” the deputy manager told local media.
The president of the tourism association said the current customs entry policy, which requires those entering the mainland from Macau via land ports to present a negative nucleic acid test result taken within 24 hours , will give tourists the impression that Macau is still a high-risk area. and affect their confidence by visiting Macau.
“Mainland arrivals entering Macau are only asked to present a negative test result taken within 48 hours, but are required to hold a negative NAT result taken within 24 hours upon returning to the mainland. This “uneven condition” will make tourists believe that Macau still has a relatively higher risk of pandemic transmission than the mainland, and also make them feel that the pandemic situation in the SAR is still unstable,” Leng said.
Regarding the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China which will start on October 16, the president said that society and the tourism industry expect to see a relaxation of the pandemic prevention and control policy after the event, and if the NAT test requirement can be increased to seven days, “tourist arrivals must double from the current level”.
“Macau has done a good job in all respects and offered great discounts on hotels and airfares. As long as the pandemic situation is stabilized and the policy is relaxed, the average daily tourist volume may reach 40,000 to 50,000 or even 100,000,” the representative of the tourism sector said.
According to MGTO, Macau saw an average daily visitor number of 14,737 from Aug. 20-26, an 18% increase from the daily average of 12,485 from Aug. 13-19.