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Capital Calls: Macau improves odds for Chinese consumers

2 minute read

A woman walks past a Bank of China branch next to the Grand Lisboa hotel and casino (R) in Macau, China December 21, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee

HONG KONG, May 7 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Concise insights on global finance.

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POWER TRIPS. Chinese tourists are emerging from virus confinement. During the five-day Labor Day holiday that ended this week, some 230 million trips read more were taken, a 120% increase from last year and more than in 2019. That boosted everything from movie-ticket sales to duty-free shopping. Travelers shunned international destinations, but unlike before they ventured further, to as far as Macau, which announced last year that mainland visitors no longer need to quarantine.

Hotel and tour bookings in the gambling hub were 20 times higher than in 2020, according to data from Chinese travel site Fliggy. Trips to the island during the holiday bounced back to 25% of 2019’s level, official data show. The renewed enthusiasm came with confidence, as China’s stringent Covid-19 controls brought local infections down to zero and vaccination rates raced to as high as 50% in big Chinese cities such as Shanghai. It’s one more sign that the patchy Chinese consumer recovery may be finally gaining steam. (By Yawen Chen)

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