Macau’s average hotel occupancy rate reached 52.1 percent in the first 15 days of July, up by 8.4 percentage points when compared to June, stated the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) in a Monday press release. The tourism body said the hotel occupancy improvement showed that a recovery in the city’s travel trade was in “progress”.
MGTO director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes estimated earlier this month that the city’s average nightly hotel-occupancy rate might be in the range of “70 percent to 80 percent” for the summer months of July and August, a traditional time for family trips.
In May, the average hotel occupancy rate in Macau hit 62.0 percent, with that of the five-star hotels at 60.2 percent, according to the latest available data by the city’s Statistics and Census Service. The result coincided with a five-day holiday period in mainland China at the start of that month, linked to Labour Day on May 1.
Several casino resort properties in Macau are housed inside hotel complexes with five-star accommodation.
In its Monday release, MGTO also mentioned that the city had received 33,000 visitors on July 16 and 32,000 tourists on July 17. The tourism office said the figures for those two days were the highest since late May.
Fresh cases of Covid-19 infection in neighbouring Guangdong province had been reported since late May. That had a negative effect on Macau’s visitor arrivals for June, the MGTO boss mentioned to local press previously.
But starting from July 10, Macau has eased the Covid-19 virus test certificate rules for those seeking quarantine-free travel from the mainland’s neighbouring Guangdong province. From that date, any test certificate issued within seven days of arrival in Macau will be accepted, rather than the people needing a certificate issued within 48 hours of arrival, the previous requirement.
The relaxation of entry measures, coupled with a now “stable” Covid-19 situation in Guangdong, contributed to the “rebound” seen in Macau’s inbound tourist numbers, stated MGTO in Monday’s release.
Separately, the operator of the Macau International Airport said it expects to handle about 350,000 passenger trips for July and August, as the Covid-19 situation is currently “well under control” in mainland China and Macau. So said the airport operator’s marketing department director, Eric Fong Hio Kin, in comments to local media on Monday.
Currently, the Macau airport has 21 flight routes connecting to a number of destinations in mainland China. The mainland is currently the only place that has a largely-quarantine free travel bubble with Macau.
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”The notion that somehow the Macau gaming companies can be used by China as negotiating pawns in a geopolitical negotiation with the U.S. is definitely without merit”
Vitaly Umansky, Louis Li and Kelsey Zhu
Analysts at brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd