Government officials in mainland China have reportedly announced that they are to once again begin allowing residents of Guangdong Province to visit Macau utilizing Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) and group travel visas from August 26.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, China’s National Immigration Administration additionally revealed that both of these facilities are to subsequently be resumed for those across the rest of the giant nation from September 23 so long as there is no substantial rise in the number of people being infected with coronavirus.
The IVS system was initiated in 2003 and had eventually allowed residents of some 30 Chinese communities to enter Macau for up to a week in order to enjoy the former Portuguese enclave’s extensive array of entertainment and gambling activities. The source detailed that the return of mainland punters is certain to please the city’s almost 40 casinos as these venues have been experiencing a steady decline in monthly aggregated gross gaming revenues since the IVS program was halted on January 28 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The National Immigration Administration reportedly also explained that it may subsequently decide to suspend either or both of these visa programs for people living in areas considered to be at a heightened risk of coronavirus. The government department moreover purportedly pronounced that such a move would automatically trigger a two-week delay to any pending applications.
This news comes only a day after officials in Macau declared that they are to begin welcoming mainland visitors from the neighboring city of Zhuhai holding IVS and group travel visas. This move caught many industry analysts by surprise with DS Kim, Executive Director for the local office of financial services giant JP Morgan, stating that it could prove to be a boon for a community that relies heavily on tourism.
Kim reportedly proclaimed…
“Recall, Macau is the only city outside the mainland that mainland Chinese can freely travel to/from without quarantine. Now, the only meaningful ‘unknown’ is the timing of the Hong Kong border/quarantine easing as demand from Hong Kong probably comprised about 10% of pre-coronavirus gross gaming revenues per our rough estimates.”