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Guangdong experiences record high volume of visa applications to Macau and Hong Kong

The Guangdong government has issued an alert, warning that it has recently experienced a record high volume of visa applications to Macau and Hong Kong. They are appealing to the public to avoid submitting applications during peak times, as the working system is currently experiencing overloading.

According to the report, Guangdong authorities have noted a significant surge in application volume since the start of the summer holiday. In response, they are working on expanding the system’s capacity.

Zeng Zhonglu UPM gaming macau
Zeng Zhonglu, gaming scholar from the Macao Polytechnic University

At present, Chinese citizens have two main ways to apply for a Macau and Hong Kong travel permit. The first is through manual application, while the other allows direct application through a 24-hour self-service machine. However, some people who cannot meet the self-help application requirements still need to submit their applications at the window. Unfortunately, all quotas for visa applications in Macau’s neighboring city, Zhuhai, have already been fully booked for weeks.

Zeng Zhonglu, a scholar from the Center for Gaming and Tourism Studies at Macao Polytechnic University, believes that the summer holiday is a crucial factor driving Chinese citizens’ desire to travel. He also notes that many young people choose to travel during the summer due to the high youth unemployment rate in mainland China.

“Many college graduates have not found a job. However, these young people still have some spending power because of the support of their parents.” Under these circumstances, Zeng believes that the surge in visitor arrivals will not directly benefit gaming revenue, as the younger generation seeks non-gaming amusement.

“Many non-gaming offerings in town are also attractive to young people, but the tourism carrying capacity becomes a problem,” Zeng points out. He notes that more events do not necessarily mean more tourists, as “when the number of tourists in Macau reaches a certain level, the experience of tourists will become worse.”

According to the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), Macau received over 93,000 visitors daily in the first three days of this month, with an average of 89,000 daily visitor arrivals in July.

Guangdong experiences record high volume of visa applications to Macau and Hong Kong

In 2019, Macau reached a record high of 39.4 million visitor arrivals. During that time, the authorities frequently had to implement crowd control measures for tourist hotspots and develop crowd forecasts.

Zeng notes that Macau has yet to return to 2019 levels, so he believes that Macau’s visitor arrivals could increase in the future.

In the first half of the year, Chinese authorities issued 42.8 million travel visas to Macau, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, marking a significant increase of 1,509 percent from the previous year. The figure has now recovered to 96.5 percent of 2019 levels.

During the same period, Macau welcomed 11.64 million visitors, representing 59.6 percent of the daily average in 2019, according to figures released by Macau authorities.

Viviana Chan
Viviana Chanhttps://agbrief.com/
Viviana Chan is an editor, interpreter, and journalist. With over a decade of experience, she writes in English, Chinese, and Portuguese. Viviana started her career in Macau-based newspapers, where she became passionate about the region's social, financial, and cultural development. Her writing focuses on the economy, emerging industries, gaming development, political affairs, and cross cultural-exchange in the business and cultural domains. She is avid for news and eager to discover and cover stories that generate public relevance.

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