Macau can reasonably expect a daily average “60,000 visitor arrivals” even before the upcoming mainland-China Labour Day holiday at the start of May, against the backdrop of better-than-expected recovery in tourism, say respectively two local travel representatives in comments to GGRAsia regarding post-pandemic trading.
Macau’s daily average for visitor arrivals in February stood at 57,000, said on Wednesday Macao Government Tourism Office director, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes.
The preliminary February visitor tally “shows that the comeback of Hong Kong visitors” was “faster than we’d expected,” said Andy Wu Keng Kuong, president of Macau Travel Industry Council in his remarks to GGRAsia.
The February daily visitor-arrival average would be a 15-percent increase compared to January. The latter month encompassed the first Chinese New Year break following – for the first time in circa three years – the easing in mainland China, Macau and Hong Kong, of most travel-related countermeasures for Covid-19.
Mr Wu and his industry colleague Wong Fai, president of Macau Leisure Tourism Services Innovation Association, referred to a phrase also used by investment analysts covering the Macau casino industry, namely “revenge travel’, i.e., pent up demand after a lengthy period of travel constraints.
Mr Wu noted to GGRAsia that inbound flights to Macau International Airport were “gradually normalising” adding, “as more package tours from both mainland China and overseas markets are coming here in March and April… 60,000 visitor arrivals a day is reachable, even before the Labour Day break”.
February’s preliminary tally for visitors had been a “surprise”, as the post-Lunar New Year break traditionally saw a “lull” for the local tourism trade, noted Mr Wong.
The tourism sector is so far “happy with the visitors’ willingness to spend on retail and entertainment offers here,” stated Mr Wong.
Both travel industry leaders said Macau should reinforce its marketing effort, to promote itself as a regional destination for ‘quality’ tourism.
“The news that Macau has the most Forbes’ five-star hotels“ of any city in the world “confirms the city’s appeal” for visitors from its major source markets and overseas, remarked Mr Wu.
Mr Wong stated: “In terms of hotel room rates, Macau’s actually are not greatly different compared to the likes of Hong Kong or Singapore. Macau should stick to its goal of creating quality experience for visitors, and attracting more middle-class, affluent visitors.”
The Macau Hotel Association – which counts among its membership most luxury hotel brands operating at Macau casino resorts – has not yet published its room rate data for February. The average room rate for the association’s five-star hotel members had been MOP1,371.3 (US$171) in January, representing a 38.7 percent year-on-year rise, according to its most recent data.
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