Fewer than a thousand visitors arrived at Macau over the first three days of the Easter holiday. The amount is significantly lower than last year’s holiday totals, as several hotels in the gaming enclave are still used for quarantined travelers.
Some 260 people entered Macau on Friday, 280 on Saturday, and 270 on Sunday, according to regional police data reported by Inside Asian Gaming. The total for the three days is 810.
Last year, close to 556,200 people visited Macau over the four-day Easter holiday. It worked out to a daily average of 139,000. On April 4, 210 people visited Macau, a reported record low.
The sharp contrast between Easters is a 99.8 percent year versus year decline. Part of the difference has been blamed on Guangdong Province putting into place border restrictions.
In contrast, the number of tourists from the Chinese mainland going to Macau over the Lunar New Year holiday was 75.1 percent lower year versus the prior year, Macau Government Tourism Office data revealed.
Public transportation between Macau and Hong Kong has been suspended, too. Flights to Macau have been cut back.
Macau International Airport retroactively cut fees charged to airlines for landings and take-offs between February and this month to lessen the impact of coronavirus at the global gambling hub.
Last month, 24 Asian airlines canceled flights to and from Macau because of the pandemic. Flights between China and the US were canceled, too.
Travelers from Hong Kong and from some other locations to Macau must quarantine for two weeks. Four Macau hotels are being used for quarantines.
The four hotels include: the Sheraton Grand Macao, Pousada Marina Infante Hotel, Golden Crown China Hotel, and Jai Alai Hotel.
The list of hotels approved for quarantines could be trimmed. Officials may keep some hotels as backups in case coronavirus cases increase.
Currently, there are 45 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Macau, Inside Asian Gaming said. As of last month, Macau saw 10 confirmed cases of coronavirus. In March, the patients recovered from the illness, and were discharged from hospitals.
Nomura Group analyst Harry Curtis recently projected Macau gross gaming revenue (GGR) will decline 80 percent in the second quarter of this year. During the third quarter, GGR is projected to go lower by 65 percent.
In the fourth quarter, GGR may improve. There is pent-up demand among likely players, but there is a concern about a second wave of reinfection, Curtis was quoted by the South China Morning Post.
Looking ahead to 2021, Curtis said, “We believe that GGR can recover to $22.6 [billion]…, or roughly 62 percent of the 2019 level if the reinfection rate is low.”
“An effective vaccine would likely be needed to exceed our 62 percent (of 2019 GGR) estimate,” Curtis added in the news report. For 2022, Curtis said, “We estimate that GGR recovers to roughly 90 percent of 2019 highs.”