Although visitor numbers dropped by 99.5% year-on-year last month, the Macau SAR government says its e-voucher stimulus scheme has helped sustain the local economy – driving between MOP$1.8 billion and MOP$2.4 billion in Macau expenditure over the past six weeks.
The first-round of the e-voucher stimulus scheme launched on 1 May after every local resident was granted a MOP$3,000 e-voucher to spend at any store equipped with MacauPass e-pay machines between May and July.
The Macao Economic Bureau (DSE) revealed the mid-term results of the scheme on Monday, stating that over 600,000 residents had received e-vouchers and about MOP$1.4 billion had already been spent from 1 May to 15 June. Around 63% of local SMEs had benefited from the scheme, the DSE added.
Retail and catering were the major sectors to have benefited from the scheme, accounting for 70.2% and 24% respectively.
Summarizing the impact of the scheme, the DSE underlined that it had successfully stabilized domestic demand and stimulated the consumption environment, while increasing business confidence towards the local economy and “alleviating pressure from residents.”
Although SMEs have widely praised the scheme, around 50% of shop tenants said revenues had still declined compared to the same period in 2019.
The second phase of the e-voucher scheme will run from 1 August to 31 December with the government having granted a second round of e-vouchers to residents for MOP$5,000 each.