MACAU: The world’s biggest gambling hub, Macau, has seen tens of thousands of tourists stream daily into its casinos and picturesque cobbled streets over the Lunar New Year holiday, a stark contrast to the dearth of visitors since 2020.
Macau has seen a resurgence of tourists from mainland China since Jan 8, when the special Chinese administrative region dropped all Covid-19 testing requirements for inbound travellers from the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Macau welcomed more than 71,000 visitors on Monday, the highest single-day record since the pandemic, its government said in a statement.
“I came here to gamble,” said a man surnamed Lam, who travelled to Macau from Jiangmen in nearby Guangdong province in southern China. “It’s good to see people in Macau. It was lifeless during lockdown and not very good.”
More than 94% of visitors to Macau over the first three days of the holidays came from mainland China and the neighbouring special administrative region of Hong Kong.
The average daily visitor arrivals reached more than 51,000, a year-on-year surge of 217%, the government said.
The influx of tourists into the former Portuguese colony comes after Beijing reopened its borders with the rest of the world for the first time in three years in January. Macau had only 15,000 average daily visits in 2022. — Reuters