Macao goes all out to boost economy

MACAO (XINHUA) – The Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) has taken multiple measures to encourage consumption and boost the local economy, which has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting in April and earlier than in previous years, each permanent resident of Macao is entitled to receiving MOP10,000 for this year’s wealth partaking scheme. Non-permanent residents are entitled to receiving MOP6,000 per person.

On Monday, the SAR government announced an optimised plan for consumption benefits through electronic payment methods, under which Macao permanent and non-permanent resident ID holders would each be entitled to a start-up fund of MOP5,000 and a discount grant of MOP3,000.

Furthermore, the government announced on Wednesday that each Macao resident can also enjoy subsidies of up to MOP380 for use in travelling and dining within Macao and MOP200 for staying in local hotels. The registration started on Thursday.

As of Friday, a number of residents had signed up for subsidised helicopter and yacht experiences, prompting the authority to draw lots to decide who gets the chances, the Macao Government Tourism Office said.

Aerial photo shows a view of the new city of Cotai in Macao. PHOTO: XINHUA

The government announced on March 15 that it would roll out a package of stimulus measures to help boost local employment, stabilise the economy and improve people’s livelihood.

Secretary for Economy and Finance of the Macao SAR government Lei Wai Nong, said that the government had taken the advice from various walks of life on the plan of electronic payment discounts since it was first announced.

The government has also been making efforts to attract more mainland tourists by hosting promotional events in the mainland that brand Macao as a safe and quality destination and offering hotel discount coupons for visitors.

As of Friday, no locally transmitted COVID-19 case had been reported in Macao for 383 continuous days, which has gradually helped it regain popularity among mainland tourists.

Chief Executive of the Macao SAR Ho Iat Seng said on Tuesday the government was sparing no effort in attracting a greater number of tourists to visit Macao, adding there would be further promotional events in mainland cities in the southwest of the country.

The government has an incentive scheme for mainland tourists to enjoy promotional offers while visiting Macao. Consumption vouchers issued to tourists under the scheme had generated a leverage ratio of 21.82 times, indicating tourist spending in Macao was growing, according to the Government Information Bureau.

Pro-Rector of the City University of Macao Ip Kuai Peng told Xinhua that if Macao and the adjacent Guangdong Province in the mainland further simplify customs formalities for travellers who have been inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines, Macao’s economy would be revitalised substantively.