Foreign tourist groups are in turmoil after Chinese officials temporarily froze the issuance of six-day visas to mainland China via Macau and Hong Kong.
On Tuesday, the Macau Travel Industry Commission confirmed that Chinese immigration had temporarily halted the supply of convenient visas, despite declaring that Chinese immigration would not have a significant impact on Macau’s economy, according to reports from Teledipusao radio and television stations.
“International tourists account for only 10% of all tourists,” Andy Wu Geng-kueong, president of the Macau Travel Industry Council, told the broadcaster. “Of course, Southeast Asian tourists are declining, but the total number is still very small. I asked the relevant public sector and said that the six-day convenient suspension of visa issuance is only due to system upgrade issues and is a temporary measure.”
Ahead of the suspension of visa issuance, Teledipusao the Macao reported Saturday that it had seen several foreign tour groups refuse entry to Guangdong province. As a result, the network linked the decision to a G-20 summit scheduled to be held near Hangzhou in two weeks.
“Of course we want to travel to China, and if it’s paused, it’s very inconvenient for us. This is because for us, in the Philippines, there are a lot of processes to do before getting a visa to China, so it’s very inconvenient for us,” a Filipino tourist told Teleifusao De Macao.
The Macau Travel Industry Commission has declared that Chinese authorities hope to resume visa issuance as soon as possible, and Johnny Choi, sales director of Estoril Tourism Travel Co Ltd, told Travel Trade Gazette Asia that a six-day mainland pass is expected to be available again.