The Macau government hopes that package tours to Macau from mainland China can resume “soon”, which will help local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and small hotels, Economy and Finance Minister Ray Wynon said. rice field.

Speaking to local media on the sidelines of an official event today (Wednesday), Lei said the deal comes ahead of China’s National Day holiday, which begins on October 1, one of the peak travel seasons in mainland China. did not comment on whether it would be done. .

“We are in contact with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism [over the matter],” he said. [in the region] controlled. ”

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the central government has suspended package tours from the mainland to Macau, and mainlanders are now only allowed on the Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) or business and family visas. You can visit Macau. Before the pandemic, mainlanders on package tours typically accounted for around 20-30% of total mainland visitors to Macau.

According to the latest official data, visitor numbers to Macau fell 26.3% year-on-year to 3.47 million in the first seven months of 2022, just 14.6% of its pre-pandemic numbers. Currently, the city only maintains largely quarantine-free travel arrangements with the mainland, the city’s largest feeder market.

Lei was asked whether the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in nearby Guangdong cities such as Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Jiangmen, as well as other parts of the mainland, would further affect the lukewarm tourism market here. replied only that he hoped the number of cases would decrease. Infections in nearby cities could soon be brought under control, and the government is preparing to ramp up efforts to attract more mainlanders to Macau in the fourth quarter of this year.

The central government has “always supported” Macau, as emphasized in a recent meeting between China’s State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Secretary General Xia Bao Long and Macau’s Chief Executive Ho Yat Seng Yen. he added.

At a meeting on Monday, Xia said the central government would “actively consider and deploy” policies and measures to support Macau’s tourism development and the development of Hengqin’s Guangdong-Macao Intensive Cooperation Zone.

Talking about the second MOP10 billion financial relief package pledged by the government during the June-July community COVID outbreak, Ray said he was working on relevant documents and implementation details today. , declined to provide any details as to when this is ready.

A recent survey by the Collective Wisdom Policy Center, a local think tank, found that over 90% of 1,331 respondents preferred to allocate a second financial relief package in the form of cash distribution or cash with consumption vouchers. I wanted

Macau officials also declined to comment on the number of bids they have received so far in open tenders for up to six 10-year gaming concessions to start in 2023. The bidding process, which began in late July, will run until Sept. 14, as the city’s current six gaming licenses expire by the end of the year.

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