Asia round-up: Melco bonus, Macau visitation rise and promo offers

In today's Asia round-up, we take a look at the latest from Melco Resorts, Macau's improved visitation figures and the region's promotional offers to Hong Kong residents...

asia news round up macau visitations

Melco Resorts to pay special bonus to non-management staff 

Melco Resorts has announced plans to pay discretionary bonuses to non-management employees as part of its Chinese New Year celebrations.  

A policy to be put in action in both Macau and Hong Kong, it follows a similar move made by MGM China, which Gambling Insider reported on yesterday. 

The pay bonus being offered by Melco will equate to one month of its employees’ salaries.  

Melco Resorts Chairman and CEO Lawrence Ho said: “[The payments] are in recognition of the loyalty [of our employees], whose continued efforts and dedication” had been vital to sustaining the business operations throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. 

It was only recently announced that China would scrap its travel restrictions for all incoming travel, despite a surge in cases over recent weeks.  

The news of lifted travel restrictions came as a huge boost to Macau, which had seen its gaming revenues plummet in recent years because of lockdown and travel restrictions in the region.  

Macau visitation tally at 75,000 two days in post-Covid 

The boost to Macau’s concession holders is already being felt after two days, after the region recorded an aggregated 75,000 visitor arrivals on 8-9 January 2023 alone.  

The region’s travel restrictions were largely dropped on 8 January, with testing requirements from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan being relinquished. 

The region also cut the need for any self-quarantine period upon arrival, making Macau once again a region easily accessed.  

Macau’s Public Security department revealed that over 19,000 of the region’s 35,000 arrivals were from the Guangdong province – an area of mainland China close to Macau. 

With travel continuing to come in droves from this region, it can be assumed that the region’s operators will soon be on a path to recovery. 

However, after Macau altered its gaming laws as part of the new concession processes started on 1 January 2023, the role of junkets – businesses key in driving VIP capital in the region – was all but diminished. 

The VIP market has since moved to the likes of Singapore and the Philippines, and it remains to be seen what Macau intends to do to regrow its VIP segment in the long term. 

MGTO offers free return tickets from Macau for Hong Kong visitors 

Some promotional campaigns are already underway; the Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) has launched a “free ticket” promotional campaign, targeting Hong Kong visitors. 

Per the promotion, inbound travellers who stay at least one night in Macau will be offered their return ticket for free. 

As part of the MGTO’s drive to get people back into the region, the promotion will be active between 13 January 2023 and 31 March 2013, covering the Chinese New Year period.  

Passengers looking to take up this offer will be able to book a free return leg via ferry service operators Cotai Water Jet or TurboJet, or via bus through HK-MO Express. The HK-MO Express links the Prince Edward district of Kowloon (in Hong Kong) with the Macau peninsula, and several other casino stop-off points along the way.   

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