The number of hotel guests in Macau declined for the third consecutive month in February judged against year prior periods.
A total of 756,200 guests were recorded in February, down by 9.9 percent year-on-year, show data disclosed on Thursday by the city’s Statistics and Census Service.
Guests from mainland China (512,000) and Hong Kong (87,000) decreased by 6.4 percent and 16.2 percent, respectively.
The number of hotel stays in Macau dropped 8.4 percent year-on-year in December, followed by a decrease of 8.0 percent in January.
In the first two months of 2015, hotel guests totalled 1.6 million, down by 8.9 percent in year-on-year terms.
Hotel stays are one of the main non-gaming revenue sources for casino operators in Macau. Sands China Ltd’s portfolio of 9,277 hotel rooms and suites generated US$346 million in net revenue last year, up by 11.5 percent from 2013, according to the company.
Macau’s casino industry is experiencing its worse post-gaming liberalisation crisis. Casino gross gaming revenue in Macau has dropped for 10 consecutive months as measured in year-on-year terms. March was the second-worst monthly decline on record after the February drop.
The number of hotel guests dropped in February despite Macau having welcomed close to 2.7 million visitors, a year-on-year increase of 4.5 percent.
Hotel room rates across the city dropped by 3.3 percent year-on-year in February, according to the Macau Hotel Association. Rates for 4-star hotels posted a decrease of 11.1 percent.
Official data from the Macau government show there were 25 hotel projects under construction and 28 projects undergoing government approval at the end of last year. They would together provide close to 25,900 new hotel rooms to Macau.
The majority of the new supply will be located in Cotai, where the city’s six casino operators are all developing new large-scale casino resorts featuring hotels with hundreds of rooms each.
The second phase of casino resort Galaxy Macau, to open on May 27, will include the world’s first all-suite Ritz-Carlton hotel, with over 250 suites, and Asia’s largest JW Marriott, with over 1,000 rooms, according to gaming operator Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd.
The company will open on the same day the refurbished Grand Waldo complex, located across the road from Galaxy Macau and rebranded ‘Broadway at Galaxy Macau’. It will include a 320-room hotel.
Casino resort Studio City, to open later this year also in Cotai, will include a premium hotel offering 1,600 rooms. Casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd is a 60 percent equity investor in the Studio City scheme.
Melco Crown is currently building a fifth hotel tower at its City of Dreams casino resort in Cotai. It is scheduled to open in the first half of 2017.
Macau had around 28,000 hotel rooms at the end of February. Around two thirds of Macau’s current hotel room inventory is located in five-star hotels.
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"The most worrying [thing] is whether [mainland] China will again tighten the issuance of travel visas [for visits to Macau]"
Luiz Lam Kai Kuong
Macau junket investor