After more than two years of trouble, Macau’s easing of travel will come as a relief to brands | Tech US News

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What happened: Macau is opening its borders slowly, very tentatively, as shown by several recent changes in travel policy. After more than two years of suspension, Macau has resumed accepting smart travel eVisa applications on Nov. 1, allowing mainland Chinese residents to apply for tourist visas through the pre-pandemic online system instead of the more complicated in-person process (which limited many visitors). There is no quarantine on arrival, just a series of COVID tests.

Macau Chief Executive Ho Let Seng said the move was aimed at reviving the city’s tourism-dependent economy. Over the past two and a half years, Macau’s famous and lucrative casino, entertainment, retail, F&B and travel sectors have been devastated by the pandemic and the resulting lack of tourism.

O The Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) also announced that the city is ready to receive tourist packages from mainland China starting this month. The territory of Greater China was slow to recover the journeys; only on September 1 did it lift the entry ban for non-resident aliens from 41 countries, including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United StatesS. But the tests are still necessary, a one-week hotel quarantine and three days of self-control, which makes it still unattractive for international tourism.

The Jing Take: The city’s economy has been hit due to Beijing’s strict controls and its own COVID-19 controls. A September visit from one of our own Jing Daily Team members from China saw very few other tourists around the country. The retail, gambling, hospitality and entertainment sectors were the hardest hit. Therefore, the re-introduction of simplified mainland travel to Macao will bring a much-needed boost to the market, bringing more tourists to the area. With the positive news about hosting group tours, let’s hope this translates into serious numbers as continentals look to sate their pent-up hunger for travel.

Following the release of the visa news on October 28, the popularity of “Macau” as a keyword on the Tongcheng travel site as reported increased by 237 percent from the previous day, while searches for Macau hotels increased by 160 percent and inquiries for airline tickets and flights between the mainland and Macau by 150 percent. Should casinos, brands and retailers rejoice? Yes, but many are still wary of popping champagne.

“While the impact of the relaunch of the eVisa scheme was delayed by a small outbreak of a handful of cases from Macau, we expect a significant recovery now that two rounds of mass testing have found zero cases,” says Boy London’s Macau store manager. Peter Caplowe, who owns Sands Casino. “We are also excited about the restart of tour groups, which we understand are being marketed in mainland China with dates starting from November 13. It looks like the long-awaited change is starting to happen.”

Foreign record companies (as well as the government) are certainly ready for a rebound after more than two years of suffering. One CEO, Niccoli Ricci of luxury menswear line Stefano Ricci, didn’t bother to complain “The Terrible Performance” of its Macao stores these past two years. But hope is on the horizon with these new, more relaxed rules beckoning domestic tourists. In addition, Air Macau announced on November 2 that it plans to increase the number of flights between Macau International Airport and 17 destinations in mainland China (such as Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Hangzhou) in the next two seasons, further indicating an expected influx of visitors to the territory . For the tourism and retail economy, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel.

The Jing Take reports on a breaking news story and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we look at everything from product drops and mergers to a heated debate on Chinese social media.

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