The fresh round of Covid-19 cases reported in mainland China’s Guangdong province next door to Macau, clouds the tourism outlook for the upcoming Labour Day holiday period in May, said Wong Fai, president of Macau Leisure Tourism Services Innovation Association, in comments to GGRAsia.
The Macau government said on Sunday that for now there would be no change to the 24-hour validity rule for a Covid-19 test applicable to people entering the city via any boundary checkpoint with Guangdong province.
“If this 24-hour test rule stays for the upcoming Labour Day holiday, our hopes for this vacation period are going to be dashed,” said Mr Wong.
China’s State Council has designated April 30 to May 4 as this year’s Labour Day holiday season, a period sometimes referred to by investment analysts as “May Golden Week”.
During last year’s Labour Day break – from May 1 to May 5 on the mainland – Macau had 167,000 visitor arrivals. The average occupancy rate of the city’s hotels had been 83.2 percent, according to data from Macao Government Tourism Office.
Mainland China remains the only place to have a largely-quarantine free travel arrangement with Macau. But the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak in Shanghai, one of China’s key commercial centres, and a fresh one in Guangzhou city – the capital of Guangdong province – have raised concerns over the local tourism trade’s hopes of robust business during the Labour Day break, Mr Wong remarked to GGRAsia.
He added that even the spending power of local residents – which during the pandemic has included outlay on staycations and other domestic entertainment services – was weakening, as the city’s economy continued to be disrupted by Covid-19. Local-consumer demand had only limited ability to fill the gap left by absent tourists from outside, he added.
“We hope that the government could put in place targeted support measures for the smaller-scale businesses,” Mr Wong said, “for the long term, we also hope that the government would continue to negotiate with the mainland for easing our travel conditions further.”