Macau, the special administrative region of China and gambling capital of the world, has stated via government officials that it is no longer planning to implement a tourism tax due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Although the idea was publicly leaked, the plans have been scrapped in the wake of Covid-19 and the devastating effect the disease has had on the region’s hospitality, gaming and tourism industries.
Last year there was serious civil unrest in Hong Kong, one area where tourism numbers to Macau are high, which left the special administrative region’s economy hurt.
However, on the back of the trouble in Hong Kong, the region suffered further decline by as much as ninety percent due to the current and ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
In light of both events, it has been concluded that a tourism tax would be the wrong move for Macau and not effective at the moment. Instead, government ministers are focusing their efforts elsewhere in to promote tourism and visitors to Macau and to improve local facilities and infrastructure.
The Macau government has also said that it plans to support recovery of tourism and visitor numbers with support for businesses, the economy and by reducing taxes.
The news comes just hours after the popular Golden Bus service between Hong Kong and Macau has resumed operation following the suspension as a preventative measure against Coronavirus. The service is a public service and runs every two hours between Macau and Hong Kong and is a major factor in visitor numbers to Macau, particularly recreational visitors to engage in VIP casino gambling such as table games and slot machines.