In 2023, the first year after the epidemic, there will be more than 28.21 million visitors to Macau, an increase of 395% over the previous year, and a recovery of 72% compared to 2019, when more than 39 million visitors were recorded. At present, only Hong Kong has almost fully recovered to its pre-epidemic level (98%). Coupled with increased promotion in neighboring regions, it is likely that there will be more visitors from Hong Kong in 2024 than in 2019 (7.35 million).

Recently, Prof. Glenn McCartney, Associate Dean (Curriculum and Teaching) and Associate Professor in Integrated Resort and Tourism Management stated in the interview with PLATAFORMA, all indications are that 2024 will break the record of 2023, and therefore the number of visitors to Hong Kong is also likely to surpass that of 2019 – after all, there is only a difference of 150,000 visitors now.

Prof. Glenn McCartney noted that the development of the transportation network between Hong Kong and Macao is a crucial factor. The Hong Kong-Macao-Zhuhai Bridge “has become a huge catalyst for tourism between Hong Kong and Macao after the epidemic, mainly due to its price and frequency, with buses departing every 5 to 10 minutes, as well as the increasing use of cross-border license plates for cars”.

Prof. Glenn McCartney also mentioned that Jetfoils, with the long history, are a well-known transportation mode in Hong Kong. He considered that these transport facilities “create favorable conditions for Hong Kong’s visitor arrivals to exceed the record number set in 2023”. The authorities are also confident that the number of visitors will reach 33 million this year, which is 84% of the pre-epidemic level.