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.
The global casino gaming equipment industry was estimated at $11.02 billion in 2019, and is expected to hit $13.19 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 5.5 percent from 2021 to 2027, according to a report by Allied Market Research.
The world is bouncing back, or at least coming to grips with the fact that going forward not much will be the same as before. Commendably, this industry quickly understood the need to adapt to a new normal, and that the days of targeting the low hanging fruit of the VIP sector are gone.
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.