January 2, 2023 2 min read


Macau Hopes to See Visitations Go Up to 40,000 a Day

Macau’s freewheeling post-COVID-19 period has not doused local officials’ ambitions to attract more tourists over the new year

The economy may be in the doldrums, but Macau has a plan – it involves dramatically increasing the number of tourists who come to visit the Special Administrative Region in 2023. This has been confirmed by Maria Helene de Senna Fernandes, the head of Macau’s Government Tourism Office.

Tourism in Macau Braced to Pick Up in 2023

According to Fernandes, Macau will be able to go back to 40,000 daily average visitors, with pandemic mandates completely abandoned by China in a rare and, some say, irresponsible U-turn on its previous zero-COVID policy.

The number was floated once before in September 2022 when Macau’s chief executive, Ho Iat Seng said that many visitors should be returning to the SAR before long. The announcement coincided with a new process that mainlanders in China could use to apply for visas online, reducing the red tape and clearing the entire process much quicker.

Macau is poised to drive numbers up as the remaining precautions introduced during the pandemic are now being phased out. Tests and quarantines are no longer required, Macau chirps, but whether this would drive visitations is another matter altogether.

Official data about Macau’s infection rates are hard to come by, especially so in China, which may be facing an infection wave so overwhelming that officials have decided not to keep up, or not announce the real numbers publicly.

China claims that the Omicron sub-variant that is now driving the pandemic is much less deadly than previous strains, but how deadly is difficult to say. Regardless, Macau hails the latest change in COVID policies as a step forward for the SAR which recently awarded the six incumbent concessionaires with an extension of their contracts for another ten years and under newly fleshed gambling rules to drive the region’s gambling.

Hong Kong Is a Bit of a Blind Spot for Now

Hong Kong still remains ab it of a blind spot with people heading to the region required to take PCR and/or rapid antigen tests. Tourists coming back are urged to also take a rapid antigen test. Fernandes said that tourists from Hong Kong are making a tentative return to the SAR, which should be seen as an augur of better times to come moving forward.

Whether China has truly moved past the pandemic remains to be seen. Macau is optimistic that it can only benefit from the new rules.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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