Insights from Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Arlt, China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI)
Before September 23, only citizens of Guangdong could get IVS visas to get to Macau – taking around ten days to get one.
For many in China, it has not been easy to get an IVS visa in time for the October Golden Week holidays, which was probably done purposefully to balance between helping Macau boost its tourists (and casino visitors) as a reward for “good” behavior (as opposed to Hong Kong) and on the other hand prevent Macau from being overrun by Mainland tourists – possibly creating a new virus hot-spot and spreading the virus all over China with the returning visitors.
In August, Macau had 200,000 visitors, this was already more than the rest of the world together saw of Mainland Chinese tourists during that month.
It is not, as some Western media have said because the Chinese do not dare to travel. With 637 million domestic trips during Golden Week, it shows that people are not afraid to travel and most people are not too poor to do it.
This Dossier results from the “Life After POGOs” editorial project by Asia Gaming Brief which culminated with a pop-up digital forum on 9th December to discuss potentials ramifications in the industry.
South Korea said on Sunday it will extend social distancing measures introduced to try to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic for another six days, to Jan. 3 after reporting a further 970 cases on Saturday.
Predicting a spike in Covid-19 cases in January, Goa state Health Minister Vishwajit Rane has appealed to tourists to take precautions and to observe government appeals to wear masks and practice social distancing.
Operators in Entertainment City had already begun to complain about the impact of rising competition on their margins even prior to the Covid-19 crisis. Now, with the outlook highly uncertain due to border closures and the erosion of the VIP sector, they may have to contend with three new developments pressing ahead.
Over the years, many of the answers have been remarkably prescient in their forecasts for the near-term direction of Asia’s gaming industry. However, we can safely say that no one came anywhere close to guessing
what 2020 may have had in store.
While nowhere in the world has escaped the economic fallout from the Covid-19 crisis, Macau has been hit harder than most, with forecasts for gross domestic product to shrink more than 50 percent this year.