No huge spike in visitation expected during Golden Week period – Tourism director

The Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Director, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, stated today (Friday) that an increase in visitors is expected during the October Golden Week holiday period but with no considerable spike expected.

“We are not making any estimates at this moment because the conditions are very adverse for any prediction,” the MGTO Director said today after this year’s Macau Grand Prix press conference.

According to Ms. Fernandes, after the issuing of individual visas resumed on August 12 the daily number of visitor entries increased to about 9,000, later rising to about 15,000 after visas were reinstated for the whole of Guangdong province on August 26.

Individual visas will be reinstated to the whole of Mainland China on September 23, with the Golden Week holiday period between October 1 and 8 expected to bring a another small bump in visitation.

“We expect more visitors, which we really need […] but it’s not easy to make any prediction since just to leave the country there are many requirements to be met. A negative nucleic acid test is still required. Many steps are still required,” the MGTO Director added.

“We have been saying that not just because the borders re-open and the visas resume, a lot of people will start coming. I went two times to Beijing this year and just to enter the city there are a lot of steps to complete. Visitors will have to learn all the needed measures.”

Concerning the establishment of a travel bubble with Hong Kong, Ms. Fernandes noted that although the number of reported cases in the neighbouring SAR has been reduced, only after no community infections are reported a similar health code system as used for the mainland could be applied.

“It will still be some time [until no local case is reported] as they are doing this large scale population testing. We will need tow ait until we have the necessary conditions to ease travel restrictions,” she added.

Hong Kong authorities revealed today that of the 12 new Covid-19 cases reported today, only three were locally transmitted, while a fifth of Hong Kong’s population had already signed up for the government’s mass coronavirus testing programme.