Macau’s tourist price index, which reflects the price change of goods and services purchased by visitors, fell by 0.86 percent year-on-year to 138.39 points in 2015, data from the city’s Statistics and Census Service show.
This was the first annual decline recorded since the index was first published in 2001, according to official data. The decline recorded last year was attributable to a “notable decrease” in hotel room prices, the statistics bureau said on Thursday.
The data also showed that tourist prices in the fourth quarter of 2015 decreased by 3.03 percent year-on-year to 141.29 points, “attributable to lower charges for hotel accommodation and reduced prices of clothing”. It was the second consecutive quarter of decline for the tourist price index as measured in year-on-year terms.
The accommodation sub-index accounted for about 23.1 percent of the overall tourist price index in 2015, followed by restaurant services with a share of 17.5 percent. The accommodation sub-index fell 7.1 percent last year compared to 2014, the data show.
The average cost of a Macau hotel room was MOP1,484 (US$185) per night in the 11 months to November, show data from the Macau Hotel Association. That was a fall of 8.1 percent from the prior-year period.
Separate data from the city’s statistics bureau show that Macau’s cumulative average hotel occupancy rate for the first 11 months of 2015 stood at 80.2 percent, a decline of 6.4 percentage points judged year-on-year. During the period, a total of 9.43 million visitors checked into hotels and guesthouses in Macau, down by 4.0 percent from a year earlier.
Hotel prices and occupancy rates declined as the number of visitors to Macau continued to fall last year. Visitor arrivals in the 11 months to November 30 decreased by 3.1 percent from the prior-year period to 28.08 million.
The head of the Macau Government Tourist Office, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, on Thursday estimated the number of visitors to Macau to have declined by about 3 percent in 2015 in comparison with the previous year, reported public broadcaster Radio Macau. Macau received a total of 31.5 million visitors in 2014.
The total spending – excluding gaming expenses – of visitors to Macau in the third quarter of 2015 fell 19.5 percent from the prior-year period, according to data released last November.
Hotel stays are one of the main non-gaming revenue sources for casino operators in Macau – the easing in room rates has coincided with a slowdown in the gaming industry. Casino gross gaming revenue in Macau has dropped for 19 consecutive months as measured in year-on-year terms.
Thursday’s data also showed that the tourist price sub-indexes for restaurant services and for entertainment and cultural activities reported yearly gains, with the latter increasing by 4.2 percent year-on-year.
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