Fitch Ratings predicts a slow return in international tourism flows across the Asia Pacific to begin in 2H21, but arrivals will remain well below pre-pandemic levels and projections will depend on virus containment and effective vaccine distribution.
News last month that Thailand may consider legalizing gambling has been met with scepticism by those who know the market well, with most saying casinos are not likely to open in at least the next decade.
The fifth and sixth days of the Lunar New Year in Macau were the busiest, with arrivals from the Mainland up 5.3 percent and 22.8 percent year-on-year, the only days showing an increase. Hotel occupancy was at just over 48 percent.
The New Year hasn’t brought the relief that had been hoped for Asia’s devastated tourism industry, with new outbreaks of Covid-19 across the region dampening expectations for an early opening of borders.
Star Entertainment has given a vote of confidence to the potential of the Gold Coast’s tourism industry, pressing ahead with plans to build a A$400 million “Tower for Tourism” despite the Covid-19 crisis.
Thailand is allowing visitors from 56 countries to boost its tourism sector, though tourists will need a health certificate to prove they are Covid free and undergo 14-days of mandatory quarantine.
The number of visitors to South Korea is set to drop to a 32-year low in 2020, due to the impact of the pandemic. The number of tourists arriving Jan-Oct. slumped 83.6 percent.
Gary Bowerman, tourism industry analyst and director of Check-in Asia, speaks with Asia Gaming Brief managing editor Sharon Singleton about prospects for tourism recovery in 2021, how governments are seeking to boost domestic travel to plug the gaps and the challenges of getting regional airlines flying again.
Macau's Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong said he expects more Mainland visitors during the Christmas and Chinese New Year holiday periods and said the government has a promotion scheme involving free hotel stays to encourage Chinese to stay longer and spend more.
A seminar held at the Jeju Tourism Organization building offered a debate and a rich discussion about the best means of boosting the island’s casino industry, both in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic and in the face of its long-term challenges.