Macau is Thinking about Paying Visitors to Come to its Casino District
With the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, which had been causing a significant amount of pent-up demand, Macau is at last experiencing its long-awaited economic recovery.
Two months after President Xi Jinping ended his divisive “zero-COVID” policy, China is only now starting to feel more normal.
Casinos and the area enjoyed a prosperous Chinese New Year in 2023, and Macau aims to maintain the uptick in commerce throughout the entire year. Local officials believe that offering subsidies to foreigners is one method to perhaps accomplish that goal.
To attract more leisure and business travelers, Macau is attempting to minimize its reliance on casino gambling.
The Macau bond exchange made its debut in late 2020. It is anticipated that the trading market would attract new enterprises to the area. Additionally, Macau agreed to renew tenders for its six casino operators in exchange for $13.5 billion in non-gaming investments over the course of the licenses’ ten-year terms.
An incentive program that would resemble the promotional benefits offered to mainlanders is Macau’s newest strategy for luring new tourists.
The Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) is considering funding international tourists’ group trips, according to GGRAsia, which first reported the story. According to local officials, the enclave is thinking about providing a daily stipend to each overnight visitor coming in Macau from Hong Kong, Taiwan, or anywhere else other than mainland China.
The MGTO representatives stated that the organization has suggested charging MOP350 (US$43.33) per person for a one-night stay and MOP500 (US$61.90) for a two-night stay for international group travelers.
The promotion can only run for two nights. For a two-night stay, a couple who is traveling together as a part of the group might receive roughly $124.
Such a tip would be very beneficial to many travelers since hotel room rates are continuing to rise in casinos. For instance, a two-night stay at the MGM Cotai will run you roughly $655, taxes and fees included.
The planned immigrant subsidies closely resemble an existing MGTO program for mainlanders. Group travelers from the Chinese mainland are given MOP250 (US$31) every night spent in Macau.
China reinstated group trips on Tuesday after they had been prohibited for more than three years.
Macau defines a group as at least 10 individuals traveling together on the same schedule. In China, traveling in groups is very common because it is usually far less expensive than traveling alone.
Because of its isolation from the rest of the world during the 2021 COVID-19 pandemic, Macau managed to remain largely coronavirus-free. At that time, the MGTO provided inhabitants with a governmental subsidy. A one-time $25 subsidy for a “staycation” was offered to Macau residents as part of that promotional push.
The effective gaming tax for Macau casinos increased to 40% as a result of the new regulatory framework in the enclave. For play produced by foreigners, that tax may be lowered by as much as 5%.
The casinos were informed when they received their new gaming concessions that businesses that successfully draw in foreign customers would be eligible for a 5% tax break. The Macau government will consider petitions for the tax break at the end of each casino’s foreigners-only gaming sections.
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