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Foreigners Can Use HK-Macau Free Ticket Says Tourism Boss

March 28, 2023 Macau Events & Announcements

Tourists from overseas travelling to Macau via Hong Kong will also be eligible for a free single-leg journey by bus or ferry from participating carriers, said on Monday Macau’s tourism boss. Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes also announced the extension until the end of June, of a ‘buy one, get one’ scheme that had initially been promoted as being for Hong Kong residents.

The Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) director was speaking on the sidelines of a public event at the Macao Grand Prix Museum, in downtown Macau.

The initial travel ticket scheme had been due to run until March 31 inclusive, prior to the MGTO director confirming on Monday its extension. Conditions on the initial deal had been that visitors must stay at least one night in Macau, in order to qualify for the free single-leg ticket.

She also said – in comments reported by local public broadcaster TDM – that from April, Macau would launch some form of subsidy scheme for visitors coming in on a package tour either via overseas places or Taiwan. A subsidy scheme already exists for package tours via the Chinese mainland – subject to certain terms and conditions.

Regarding the package trade from the mainland, Ms Senna Fernandes stated that since its resumption on February 2 – after a circa three-year pause – Macau had, as of March 23, a total of 2,048 inbound package tour groups, delivering 60,431 visitors.

Of that tally, 542 tours, or 26.5 percent, were from neighbouring Guangdong province, and supplied 17,771 visitors to the market.

A total of 1,439 mainland-originating tours, bringing in aggregate 41,562 visitors, applied for Macau government ‘funding support’, the broadcaster cited Ms Senna Fernandes as saying.

Macau has recently seen daily visitor numbers as high as nearly 100,000. But a colleague of Ms Senna Fernandes had mentioned to local media that Macau’s volume of international visitors was still “relatively low”, due to “transport constraints”.

Those included the fact it was taking time to up flight frequency to Macau International Airport. Separately, media outlets beyond Macau have reported that flight capacity for some international services remains constrained, and some air ticket prices high, relative to pre-pandemic trading.

Hong Kong International Airport is a key hub for visitors from beyond the Pearl River Delta region, wishing to visit Macau. From Hong Kong’s airport, the most easily-available trip is via bus on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, spanning the delta.

In February, the Macau government said it had budgeted circa MOP600 million (US$74.2 million) this year to stimulate inbound tourism, including via consumer roadshows on the Chinese mainland and overseas, and subsidised promotions such as a ‘buy-one-get-one free’ offer on certain air tickets to the city.

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