Sands China President Wilfred Wong is hoping that quarantine in Macao will be reduced to attract Hong Kong visitors as the local government has relaxed some border restrictions recently.
“I think we’ll probably see more relaxation among the mainland Chinese and Hong Kong [visitors]. That would be the first step and I expect, following the improvement of the situation in Hong Kong, that the Macao government would probably gradually relax its restrictions on admission of people from Hong Kong. Hopefully maybe a reduction in the number of days that people have to stay under quarantine,” Wong said after launching the 2022 Sands Shopping Carnival at The Venetian Macao.
“Hopefully it will go down to 7-10 days. I think the shorter the period of quarantine, the more Macao will prove to be attractive to Hong Kong visitors,” he added.
However, Wong also expects more tourists from mainland China as summer is approaching, saying, “There’s a lot of demand for holidays and I think really a lot depends on how restrictive the government of [mainland] China is in terms of travelling … if they relax their restrictions on travel, then we expect more people to come.”
Wong added: “People from Beijing and Shanghai are not visiting so most of our tourists [at the moment] are from Guangdong region. That’s why you see that there’s always a peak in the weekend … Friday, Saturday. In the past, when everyone from different parts of China were coming, normally weekdays were also good. Now weekdays normally have a low occupancy.”
Asked about some non-resident workers whose contracts are not being renewed to accommodate unemployed Macao residents, he replied: “The government always keeps that under review. We have so far let go some employees with foreign passports and I think it is probably the right thing to do because the employment situation has deteriorated in Macao … if there are jobs that are suitable for local people, we’ll definitely give priority to local residents.”
He added: “But there are still jobs that the local people probably wouldn’t want to do or are not interested in. So, there’s always a need for foreign workers. We’ll review the situation regularly with the Labour Department.”
Wong also pointed out that the 6,000-seat arena at The Londoner Macao is set to open in this year’s second half, with another ceremony already in plan to celebrate The Londoner Macao’s full opening. “Right now, it’s the only thing that is still under construction,” he said.
The 2022 Sands Shopping Carnival will take place at The Venetian Macao’s Cotai Expo from 21-24 July. The shopping carnival has been held every year since 2020, with this year’s event set to feature more than 580 booths.