The semi-autonomous Chinese region of Macau inaugurated a week of outdoor activities in Beijing on Saturday to attract back tourists from mainland China after heavy losses due to the pandemic.
“I hope we can increase our visibility,” Kenneth Lei, president of the Macau Food and Beverage Dealers Association, told Lusa.
“We want to attract more tourists from China in order to revitalise Macau’s economy,” he said, adding: “I believe it will be a great help.
The issuing of visas to mainland Chinese residents to visit the Macau Special Administrative Region was resumed on 23 September.
Entry into the region was banned at the end of January, when China quarantined much of Hubei province, acknowledging the seriousness of the new coronavirus outbreak.
China was, however, the first to overcome the disease and return to normality.
In Wangfujing Street, one of the busiest streets in the Chinese capital, near Tiananmen Square, Macau’s tourist information desks were set up. Along the street, several thematic areas were also erected, including one dedicated to products from Portuguese-speaking countries.
“There are many [people] who visit us and have already been in Macau and know [Macanese food] and others who [have heard] through friends”, Ana Manhão, a Macanese chef explained to Lusa.
“They like the cream, the beer, the tea with milk, which everyone knows,” she said.
Manhão admitted that she was “happy” with the opening of Macau’s borders to tourists from the mainland, but also “cautious”, warning of the need for “hygiene and protection” measures against the disease.
In the first eight months of the year, 3,570,019 visitors entered Macau, a decrease of over 87% compared to the same period last year.
“The good thing is that we got our quiet Macau back,” he said. “But for business, it was more losses than profits,” she said.
This article is available in: Português