“I believe the occupancy rate will remain stable and good,” stated Chan Chi Kit, president of the Macau Hoteliers & Innkeepers Association when asked about his predictions for the smmer holiday period.
Chan perceives that the rate will be “doing good after July 15”, given that the summer holidays start in July for Hong Kong and around that time for mainland China.
“The price of rooms will also increase a bit compared to last year,” Chan told Business Daily, explaining that the “comparison between 2015 and 2016 was half of the comparison between 2015 and 2014.”
The president of the association also revealed that some hotels have raised their prices a bit this year, opining that the market would be better this year.
The data released by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), showing the city’s hotel occupancy rate and prices in June, demonstrates a rate increase of 3.1 percentage points year-on-year to 88.5 per cent, while average room prices dropped by 5 per cent to MOP1,174,8 (US$146.1) when compared to the same month last year.
“Once July starts, the price increases by 5 to 15 per cent,” noted Chan. “For now the [occupancy] rate is hovering around 80 to 90 per cent, or over 90 per cent and even some [hotels] have had all their rooms reserved. Different hotels have different performance,” he pointed out.
With the improvement of the economy in mainland China, coinciding with an uptick in the city’s gaming revenue, Chan estimates that the occupancy rate will stay at 90 to 95 per cent after July 15.
Andy Wu Keng Kuong, president of Macau Travel Industry Council, also holds a similar outlook.
“The occupancy rate will be higher than usual, with the average rate to stay at over 80 per cent,” Wu told Business Daily.
Regarding price changes, Wu perceives that room prices will increase by 10 per cent when compared to the same period last year, while explaining that the demand for rooms has increased, despite more hotel rooms having been added to the city’s overall supply.
Chan points out that currently the city has around 36,300 hotel rooms available, saying that the number has increased by a few thousand when compared to the same period a year ago.
The most recent hospitality establishment to open – the Macau Roosevelt – which had a soft opening late last month, brought an additional 368 rooms to the city’s supply.
Meanwhile, MGM Cotai is expecting to open in the last quarter of this year, which will bring an additional 1,400 hotel rooms to the city’s offerings.
Increased inbound and outbound travels
Regarding the number of visitors, Chan points to an increase of 1.9 per cent in the number of visitors to the MSAR from January to June.
However, Chan predicts that the number of guests staying at hotels will grow as much as 8 per cent year-on-year this summer, saying that visitors’ desire to stay in local hotels has increased.
Similarly, Wu perceives that the number of visitors to Macau “will increase by a single digit percentage year-on-year”, while adding that the length of stay at hotels will also increase.
DSEC data shows that the average length of stay for tourists in May of this year was 1.4 nights.
Regarding outbound tourists, Wu sees that more Macau residents are favouring ‘one-day traveling’ to destinations such as cities in mainland China, predicting a year-on-year increase in the amount of outbound travel of 20 per cent.
Retailers: sales not as good as last year
Although more visitors are expected to visit the city this summer, retailers remarked that sales have not been as good as expected.
“It’s almost halfway through the summer holidays and honestly the sales for the time being still haven’t increased at all compared to last year,” said a salesperson surnamed Ng of Xu Xing Long Watch Limited, located near the Ruins of St. Paul’s.
Nevertheless, Ng expressed hope that the performance would improve during the rest of the holiday period. Ng said that many crowds pass by the shop but not many enter and make purchases.
Workers from Pastelaria Yeng Kee, a souvenir shop also located near the popular tourist spot, said retail sales were unstable.
“[There were] days that the sales were good but there were days that they were bad,” said one of the salespeople at the souvenir shop.
They revealed that retail sales had dropped by half when compared to the previous year, with only a few thousands patacas earned per day on some days.