TRAVEL Macao expected to be 'dark horse' in the coming May Day holidays

TRAVEL

Macao expected to be 'dark horse' in the coming May Day holidays

Global Times

17:37, April 09, 2021

Tourists visit the Ruins of St. Paul's in south China's Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR), on Oct 1, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)

Macao Special Administrative Region, as Chinese mainland residents’ only outbound destination free of 14-day quarantine, continues to rise in popularity for mainland travelers, is expected to become “a dark horse” in the upcoming May Day holidays.

Data from online travel platform Trip.com Group on Friday showed that, as of Thursday, the total number of orders for Macao during the May Day holidays achieved a positive growth of 20 percent compared to 2019, which has doubled from the same period in April. And the search volume for flights in and out of Macao significantly exceeded 140 percent higher than the previous month.

The data is also in line with the performance of the airlines. Air Macau, the main carrier between the Chinese mainland and Macao, has now resumed 16 cities’ services in the mainland after months of suspension.

Air Macau told the Global Times on Friday that it has approximately 190 flights per week from the mainland to Macao. It plans to increase frequencies in Shanghai and Beijing in May, and the weekly flights are expected to reach more than 220.

The carrier also holds a positive attitude about the coming holidays; the capacity from the mainland to Macao has recovered to 50 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels and is expected to recover to 80 percent in the summer. Flight bookings have increased by 15 percent compared to the same period in 2019.

To better woo customers, Air Macau also launched a buy-one-get-one-free program, with travelers in cities such as Beijing, Tianjin and Taiyuan able to enjoy it.

Data from information provider VariFlight showed that from March 9 to April 8, there are about 16 daily passenger flights from Chinese mainland to Macao, 70 percent of which are operated by Air Macau. The top three airports with the largest number of flights are Shanghai, Beijing and Hangzhou.

Although there are still three weeks before the May Day holidays, the number of bookings has doubled compared to the same period in 2019. A single ticket from Beijing to Macao on April 30 has risen to nearly 2,800 yuan ($426), data from Trip.com Group showed. The price is a big leap from that of previous months.

Macao Government Tourism Office also said it hopes to woo more travelers from the mainland in the coming holidays and support economic recovery.

This year’s Qingming Festival saw three days of holidays from April 3 to 5, overlapping with the Easter holiday from April 2 to 6.

During the five-day holiday period, the total number of tourists visiting Macao was nearly 100,000, and tourists from the Chinese mainland accounted for 90 percent of that, data from the Macao Government Tourism Office showed.

The Chinese mainland resumed the application of permits for mainland residents to Macao on September 23 last year. Travelers to Macao will only need a COVID-19 test report, and there is no need for any 14-day quarantine.

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