The Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council announced Friday that the operation of group tours for mainland China residents to Hong Kong and Macau will resume on 6 February.
This comes after the Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced in January that travel agencies would resume operating outbound group tours for Chinese citizens on 6 February. The Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office today confirmed the plan to resume group tours for Mainland residents visiting Hong Kong and Macau at the same time.
“On February 6, the scheduled clearance arrangement at land boundary control points in Guangdong and Hong Kong will be abolished, and there will be no quota for the number of people going through the control points,” the office said. “The operation of group tours between Mainland residents and Hong Kong and Macau will be resumed.”
The Macau government also held a press conference on Friday morning to explain the matter. The Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, said, “The resumption of group tours to China next Monday will be nationwide, not limited to four provinces and one city.”
Last year, the Macau government negotiated with Mainland China to open up tours to Macau from “four provinces and one city”, but due to the epidemic, the plan was delayed until January this year when mainland China and Macau relaxed their pandemic prevention plan.
According to Fernandes, mainland tour groups are expected to arrive in Macau from Monday.
“Macau’s travel agencies have been working for more than three months to re-open tours from the mainland. The resumption of tours will increase the number of visitors to Macau,” she said.
Fernandes also pointed out that the Macau government has offered air tickets and hotel discounts to visitors during the past three years of the pandemic, giving away a total of 377,000 air tickets and 50% off vouchers for almost 2.2 million hotel rooms. The MGTO plans to give away 120,000 airline tickets this year.
As for the promotion of overseas markets, Fernandes said, “The MGTO will target Taiwan and Southeast Asian countries for marketing, with Thailand being the first choice, and will organise activities in Thailand to attract Thai visitors to Macau.”
Secretary for Economy and Finance, Lei Wai Nong, said the government is aiming for 40 million visitors to Macau this year to prepare for the recovery of the tourism industry – an ambitious target given it would exceed the record 39.4 million people who visited Macau in 2019.
“The government has been strengthening the non-gaming elements of Macau over the past three years and hopes that the tourism industry will prepare to attract visitors,” he said.