Macau saw an 87.2% drop in visitor numbers in the first two days of the so-called “golden week,” which runs from October 1-8, compared to last year.
In the first two days of the “ golden week ”, Thursday and Friday, 37,619 visitors entered the territory, the Tourist Services Directorate (DST) said, based on data provided by the public security police. (CPSP). .
Of those, 35,483 came from inside China, down 86.2 percent from last year.
On Thursday, 15,503 people visited Macau, 88.5% lower than on October 1, 2019, while on Friday the number of visitors to the Chinese special administrative region was 22,116, down 86.1% compared. the same day of the previous year.
On the sidelines of the commemorative ceremonies for the 71st anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China on Thursday, the director general of Macao said there would still be “a long way to go” to recover the number of visitors, namely from 2019.
A year ago, in the “golden week” of October, between October 1 and 7, Macau was home to nearly a million people.
For Ho Iat Seng, the number of visitors may be affected by the epidemic prevention measures in force in the territory which require visitors from inside China to submit a negative test result for covid-19. On the other hand, he added that given the global pandemic situation, it is currently not possible to allow visitors or foreign workers to enter Macau.
The “golden weeks” are periods which concentrate several vacations. This year, the Lunar Cake Festival, or Mid-Autumn Festival, was also celebrated on October 1.
The “golden week” of October is the second largest mass movement in China, after the period of the passage of the lunar new year, in January or February, the main holiday of Chinese families.
This period of festivities was seen by the authorities and analysts as a test of the ability, on the one hand, to receive visitors, and on the other hand, to prevent new cases of the disease in the territory, with an economy heavily dependent on Chinese visitors and virtually paralyzed. since the end of January. Last year Macau welcomed nearly 40 million visitors.
The Chinese special administrative region was one of the first territories affected by the pandemic, having recorded 46 cases. Currently, there are no active cases.
The covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than one million lives and more than 34.6 million cases of infection worldwide, according to a report from the French agency AFP.