Macau Visitor Numbers Best in 15 Months, But Enclave Reimplementing Entry Quarantines

Posted on: April 19, 2021, 12:11h. 

Last updated on: April 19, 2021, 01:32h.

Macau reported over the weekend that it recently experienced its highest single-day visitor tally since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Macau visitor numbers casino revenue
Officials at the Macau International Airport monitor thermal temperature scanners. The air hub continues to see more people coming and going despite a spike in new COVID-19 cases in South Asia. (Image: Macau Health Bureau)

The Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) said 34,252 visitors entered the Chinese Special Administrative Region (SAR) last Friday, April 16. That’s the highest one-day count since January of 2020. 

The tourism office added that Macau hotel rooms were occupied at a rate of 61 percent between April 9-15. That is 12.7 percent better than the Spring Festival Golden Week in February, when the rooms were 48.3 percent occupied.

The figures reveal a steady upward trend in visitor arrivals recently,” a statement from the MGTO read. 

Casinos are benefiting from more people in town. Gross gaming revenue (GGR) in March was MOP8.31 billion (US$1.04 billion). That is the enclave’s best number since the coronavirus halted travel around the world and Macau closed its borders in February of last year. 

Air Traffic Increases

Along with increased entries at the border gates and crossings, Macau International Airport reports that it’s experiencing an uptick in passengers. 

The airport is forecasting that it will handle “over 125,000” passengers in April. If that is realized, it would represent a more than 25 percent uptick in March, when 99,472 flyers came and went through the hub.

The airport facilitated 1,311 commercial airline arrivals and departures that month.

Not All Positive

There’s much to be optimistic about regarding Macau’s economic rebound, which will be generated by its gaming industry. But escalating new COVID-19 cases throughout much of South Asia threatens to slow that recovery. 

Macau announced Sunday that anyone trying to enter the enclave from mainland China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan who has been in India, Pakistan, or the Philippines within the previous 28 days will be forced to undergo 28 days of quarantine. The isolations are to be completed at one of four quarantine hotels, as designated by the SAR. They are Lisboeta, Regency Art, Treasure, and Grand Coloane Resort. 

Macau residents receive a special discounted rate of MOP8,400 (US$1,050) for the 28-day quarantine. Non-residents must pay a nightly rate of MOP450 to MOP700 ($57 to $88), depending on their preferred hotel. 

The Philippines’ Department of Health on Saturday revealed that the country has more than 203,000 active COVID-19 cases, including approximately 900 health care workers. Nearly 16,000 people in the Philippines have died from COVID-19. 

As a result of the reimplemented quarantine protocols, the MGTO is predicting that Macau’s casino hotel rooms will be occupied at around “40 percent to 50 percent” for the upcoming Labor Day holiday in May.