Some travel industry insiders have indicated to the MNA that the loosening of Covid test validity requirements will have a positive impact on the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival holiday and have expressed hope for further easing of travel policies.
Starting today (Thursday), the validity period for negative Covid nucleic acid test results for arrivals in Guangdong has been extended to 7 days from the previous 72 hours, the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Center said yesterday.
The change in entry customs policy will have a good publicity effect and help create the impression that Macau is safe to travel, Leng Sai Wai, chairman of the Macau Tourism Industry and Trade Association, told MNA.
“This may send a signal to other places that the pandemic situation in Macau is very stable and no new local cases of Covid transmission have been detected for a very long time,” the chairman of the association emphasized.
To date, Macau has not detected a single new local case of Covid-19 infection for 236 consecutive days.
Meanwhile, Leng stressed that the relaxed 7-day Covid test result requirements, along with the upcoming 3-day Dragon Boat Festival holiday, will bring a “little warm spring” that will help restore Macau’s tourism industry.
“The previous Labor Day holiday may not have had as positive an impact on the industry as expected, but we still have an optimistic outlook for the Dragon Boat Festival holiday,” Leng said.
This year’s five-day Labor Day holiday ended with a total of 136,647 visitors arriving under the 72-hour negative Covid test limit, down 18% from the same period in 2021.
In 2019, before the outbreak of the pandemic, a total of 531,000 visitors were registered during the four-day break – an average of 132,750 per day.
In addition, the chairman of the travel association stressed that the industry’s most hopeful thing is to see the complete lifting of Covid test restrictions for mainland tourists and the full reopening of the border.
Unless the border is fully reopened to arrivals from the mainland, Leng said, Macau’s tourism industry could still be trapped in doing business primarily with local customers, with some companies unable to continue operations in the next two years.
Professor Wilko Chan Wai Hung of the Macau Institute of Tourism Research (IFT) also told MNA that the current easing policy will bring more help to the tourism industry as it encourages more tourists.
Wilco said the local tourism industry is also confident about the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival as the recent stabilization of the pandemic is good for the industry.
Macau should strengthen tourism promotion and cooperation with the mainland in the field of tourism products in the long term, said the IFT professor.
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