Macau Welcomes COVID Vaccine Passport To Boost Casino Tourism
Macau which is the biggest gambling hub in the world depends heavily on its casino tourism industry. Most of the top casino operators in the world operate multiple casino resorts in the Macau peninsula which is just an hour away from Hong Kong and Guangzhou by ferry.
Casinos in Macau took heavy financial losses in 2020 due to the shutdown that was brought about by the global corona virus pandemic. While casinos have since opened, they are not doing brisk business like before and it could be many months before Macau’s casinos return to normal.
International travel across the world has taken a big hit and this has also impacted Macau’s casinos. Macau depends heavily on casino tourism and gets the majority of its tourists from Mainland China. However, millions of tourists from all over the world also show up at Macau mainly to see the casinos and test their luck.
Macau’s tourism industry needs to pick up before Macau’s casinos can start to return to normal. Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, who is the director for the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) said that a vaccine passport program will go a long way to boost tourism in the peninsula.
Fernandes said that the Covid vaccine passport program is proving to be popular in a number of countries who are currently experimenting with the program. She said that they were in contact with the government of China who is looking to implement this system shortly. China will not refer to this process as a vaccine passport program but will instead refer to it as an international travel health certificate.
Vaccine Passport Will Give Patrons Confidence
Fernandes said that a government run vaccine passport program will give people in both Mainland China and other countries the confidence and assurance that they could travel to Macau without having to worry about COVID-19. She said such a vaccine passport would also help in reducing the number of imported COVID cases.
Mainland China and Macau currently have a travel bubble that allows people to travel between the two locations. Macau still demands for all visitors to submit a Covid-19 test certificate which has a 7 day validity period.
A lot of Mainland China residents continue to avoid Macau due to fear of contracting COVID-19. There is no indication as to when the vaccine passport program will be rolled out.