Tourism representative with low expectations for mid-autumn visits

Tourist arrivals may not reach a satisfactory level during the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival as mainland authorities have urged the public to stay home and reduce travel during the holidays, said the president of the Association of the Macau Tourism Trade and Industry Federation, Leng Sai Wai, told the Macau News Agency (MNA).

Wu Liangyou, deputy director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Control of the National Health Commission, said at a press conference yesterday that the public should keep quiet during the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day Golden Week festivities. and limit travel between cities to avoid the risk of pandemic outbreaks caused by large-scale movements of people.

From September 10 to October 31, mainland residents will be required to submit a negative nucleic acid test (NAT) result taken within 48 hours when traveling by plane, train, and passenger vehicle or ship between provinces, and those traveling between provinces will be required to take a “voluntary nucleic acid test” upon arrival.

Additionally, individuals must have a negative NAT result performed within 72 hours to enter hotels or tourist attractions, and avoid conducting “unnecessary mass gathering activities” such as training, exhibitions, and cultural performances.

Leng told MNA that the tourism industry in Macau “will definitely be affected” as the pandemic outbreaks in some mainland provinces and the policy calling on residents to stay home will have a negative impact on visitors’ intentions. tourists to visit the RAE.

Due to the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic in various cities across the continent, many local governments have also sent out announcements asking residents to stay put and reduce travel during the upcoming holidays.

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“The situation in the mid-autumn festival will not be optimistic, because the government does not encourage people to go out, which means that people will not travel to other places, so how can we have tourists visiting the SAR?” the Leng said.

Meanwhile, he stressed that the chance of the average daily visitor count reaching about 20,000 during the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday is low, due to calls for reduced travel and the 24-hour COVID testing requirement in the policy. customs entry.

The Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) expects visitor arrivals could return to a level above 20,000-40,000 and even 30,000-40,000 ahead of China’s National Day holiday on Oct. 1, its deputy director Cheng said. Wai Tong.

“As long as the COVID-19 development situation remains stable, visitors will gradually return to Macau,” the deputy director told local media.

The president of the tourism association said that the current customs entry policy that requires those entering the mainland from Macau through land ports to present a negative nucleic acid test result carried out within 24 hours, will give tourists the impression that Macau remains a high-risk area. and affect your confidence to visit Macau.

“Mainland arrivals entering Macau are only required to submit a negative test result done within 48 hours, but must have a negative NAT result done within 24 hours when they return 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 will also make them feel that the pandemic situation in the SAR is still unstable,” Leng said.

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Regarding the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China that will start on October 16, the president said that the society and the tourism sector expected to see a relaxation in the pandemic prevention and control policy after the event, and if the requirement NAT trial can be extended to seven days, “tourist arrivals should double the current level.”

“Macau has done a good job in all aspects and has offered great discounts on hotels and airline tickets. As long as the pandemic situation stabilizes and policies are relaxed, the average daily tourist volume may reach 40,000, 50,000 or even 100,000,” said the representative of the tourism sector.

According to MGTO, Macau saw a daily average of 14,737 visitors from August 20 to 26, an increase of 18 percent compared to the daily average of 12,485 from August 13 to 19.

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