The number of guests staying in hotels in Macau stood at 931,700 in November, according to data disclosed on Thursday by the city’s Statistics and Census Service. The figure represented a year-on-year increase of 3.3 percent.
November was the fourth month in a row in which hotel guest numbers were up measured in year-on-year terms. That is despite the overall number of visitors to Macau recorded during that period having decreased in three of the four months.
In the first 11 months of 2015, hotel guests totalled 9.4 million, a decline of 4.0 percent. The average occupancy rate for the January to November period stood at 80.2 percent, down by 6.4 percentage points year-on-year.
Hotel room rates in Macau have been declining since February measured in year-on-year terms, according to figures from the Macau Hotel Association. In October – the latest data available – staying at a 5-star hotel in Macau cost on average MOP2,122.5 (US$265.9), 12.2 percent below the average cost a year earlier.
A June report from Morgan Stanley Asia Ltd analysts Praveen Choudhary and Alex Poon suggested one of the reasons for declining room rates was an oversupply of hotel space relative to current demand.
“Most [casino] operators have excess hotel room inventories because junkets are reserving fewer rooms for VIPs (down from 80-90 percent to 30-40 percent of the total number of hotel rooms) and premium mass customers are visiting Macau less [often],” the analysts said at the time.
“They [casino operators] started slashing prices to attract incremental customers,” they added.
Macau had a total of 104 hotels and guesthouses operating at the end of November, providing 32,000 guest rooms, up by 13.4 percent year-on-year, according to the figures from the Statistics and Census Service. The number of guestrooms in 5-star hotels totalled 20,000, accounting for 63.1 percent of the total supply. The majority of the five-star accommodation was in casino hotels and casino resorts.
Macau-based gaming operator Sands China Ltd earlier this month opened the St Regis Macao, Cotai Central. The 400-room hotel, part of a brand owned by Starwood Hotels and Resorts, is the fourth and final hotel tower of the Sands Cotai Central property. The St Regis Macao tower did not add new gaming facilities to Sands Cotai Central.
Carlo Santarelli of Deutsche Bank Securities Inc said in a statistical update on the Macau market issued on December 18 that Macau’s Cotai district would see a further 8,800 hotel rooms added to the market between June 25 next year – when Wynn Macau Ltd’s Wynn Palace resort opens – and the end of 2017, when SJM Holdings Ltd’s Lisboa Palace resort is due to be ready.
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