Linda Chen, vice chairman, chief operating officer (COO) and executive director of casino operator Wynn Macau Ltd, expects growth during the summer-holiday season of July and August, in the daily number of tourists visiting Macau.
Ms Chen (pictured in a file photo) was speaking in Macau on Wednesday. She said her view on the likely summer trade assumed there would be a gradually-improving Covid-19 situation in the neighbouring mainland China province of Guangdong, and stability in Hong Kong’s situation.
Presently, only mainland China has a largely quarantine-free travel bubble with Macau.
Currently, people arriving in Macau via Hong Kong – a market that in pre-pandemic times had accounted for at least 10 percent of Macau’s annual casino gross gaming revenue according to some investment analysts – must undergo a 14-day quarantine.
On Monday there had been talk of that rule being lifted by Macau, if Hong Kong could achieve 28 consecutive days of no reported Covid-19 infection. On Wednesday, Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection said it was investigating a local preliminary positive Covid-19 case “from an unknown source”, involving the L452R mutant strain.
Wynn Macau Ltd’s Ms Chen mentioned her Wednesday comments, that the Macau government had been putting effort into promoting inbound tourism by hosting events locally and in mainland China.
The promotion work included so-called “tourism +” initiatives, such as: Art Macao 2021, which will start from July; as well as the bundled marketing of services, such as “tourism + sports”; “tourism + MICE [meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions]”; and “tourism + culture”.
Macau tourism was nonetheless closely connected with the gaming, hotel and other industries, noted Ms Chen.
She thought weekly visitor volumes and hotel occupancy in the summer could reach similar levels to May Golden Week, the festive period around the Labour Day holiday on May 1 period in the first week of May. At that time, the daily average was more than 33,000 arrivals.
Wynn Macau Ltd – which runs the Wynn Macau and Wynn Palace casino resorts in the city – reported last month via its United States-based parent Wynn Resorts Ltd, that May Golden Week had generated per day the “highest amount of normalised profit” since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic at the beginning of last year.
June saw a falling back market-wide in visitor volume, associated not only with the post-holiday period, but also coinciding with fresh outbreaks of Covid-19 infection in Guangdong.
The Crystal Pavilion project, an extension planned for Wynn Palace, was in the optimisation stage, said Ms Chen in her Wednesday remarks. She added the company was planning to make the new property and facilities compatible with Macau’s diversified and long-term development goal. Typically in the context of the Macau casino sector, that is a reference to the focus the local government has been putting on developing non-gaming and family-focused entertainment at the city’s gaming resorts.
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VIP share of Macau's gross gaming revenue in the third quarter of 2021