Shanghai (China), Sep 26 (EFE).- The share prices of Casinos in Macao increased significantly Monday morning after the head of government of the former Portuguese colony, Ho Iat-seng, announced measures to allow the entry of tourists from the Chinese mainland from November.
By midday, Sands China rose by 18.48 percent, SJM by 13.43 percent, Wynn Macao by 9.33 percent, Galaxy Entertainment by 9 percent, and MGM China by 6.85 percent.
The pandemic has dealt a severe blow to these companies as tourism and other leisure activities remain closed for over two years since the beginning 2020.
Ho announced Saturday that tourists from mainland China will be able to apply again for permits to visit Macao – an autonomous region of China – and that group tours from several provinces will be allowed.
These measures, expected to come into effect by the end of October or the beginning of November, aim to increase the number of daily visitors to some 40,000 people.
However, the program can be suspended in case there are severe outbreaks of the coronavirus in Macao or the provinces that fall under the scheme.
According to official data before the pandemic, more than half of the economic activity of the former Portuguese colony came from gambling businesses, which were in turn the main generators of employment in the city.
However, the pandemic caused an unprecedented drop in the revenue of the casino industry due to the suspension of the entry of tourists.
Since 2020, several measures have been adopted to relax restrictions on entry, especially from the Guangdong province, adjacent to Macao, although electronic visas and group visits – which greatly favored the influx of tourists – have remained suspended until now.
In the last week, the city received an average of almost 21,000 visitors a day, according to government data. EFE