Macau tourism players are anticipating a more vibrant year-end holiday season as access for visitors from Shanghai and the provinces of Guangdong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Fujian improves on the back of a new e-visa process.
The e-visa system was activated by China’s immigration bureau on November 1.
Travellers entering Macau from China are not required to serve on-arrival quarantines, but must have a negative result to show from their nucleic acid test taken 24 or 48 hours prior to arrival via Zhuhai-Macau checkpoints.
“This is obviously a very positive signal for a gradual recovery in visitation, especially from these key provinces and municipality,” said Sands China’s senior vice president of hotel operations, Kris Kaminsky.
Kaminsky added that the eased entry may even drive the return of business events to Macau.
“We hope to see a more well-rounded mix of visitation building up toward the end of the year,” he said.
China Travel Service (Macao), travel department sales and marketing manager, Pun Cheng-man, said the e-visa system came into effect at a good time. His Chinese agent partners have been tipping him off on readiness among their customers for group and FIT travel to Macau.
“Despite the recent spike in Covid-19 cases in Guangdong province, we remain optimistic because events, like the Macau Grand Prix, were quickly resumed. The event was held in just two short days for the local audience last year. This year, however, it is back to normal and will welcome international racers and audience with open arms this Thursday (the race will be held from November 17 to 20),” said Pun.
Returning Chinese visitors will discover plenty of fresh draws in Macau. Attractions that were recently launched include an AR experience at the Old Taipa Village and Coloane; a new Formula 3 simulator and two new AR interactive games at the Grand Prix Museum; and Studio City’s four-storey Super Fun Zone.
Kaminsky pointed out that November and December are the “best time of the year in Macau”, with activities offered through events like the Macau Grand Prix, Macau Food Festival and Christmas celebrations.
Sands China itself will launch the Londoner Light and Sound Spectacular at The Londoner Macao in early December, part of the programming for Macao Government Tourism Office’s Light Up Macao 2022.
“All these attractive offerings, from accommodation packages and retail promotions to entertainment, superb dining and Christmas decorations, will craft a dreamy winter escape for mainland China visitors,” said Kaminsky.
According to Macao Government Tourism Office, the destination registered about 4.36 million visitors between January and September 2022, with China contributing 3.9 million visitors.