Most of Macau’s luxury hotels in Cotai casino resorts were as of Friday already fully booked for at least four nights of the upcoming, week-long, Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday period.
The majority of hotels surveyed by GGRAsia were due to see occupancy peaking from January 26, the day after the actual lunar festival marking the start of the Year of the Rat. China’s State Council has designated the upcoming holiday period as running from Friday, January 24 – the eve of Chinese New Year – until Thursday, January 30 inclusive.
Our occupancy survey drew on information we collated from the official booking websites of the relevant casino-resort hotels. As of Friday, 14 out of 19 luxury hotels – most of them five-star establishments at Cotai casino resorts – were full for more than four days of the festive period.
They included: Wynn Palace on Cotai and Wynn Macau on Macau peninsula, both promoted by Wynn Macau Ltd; and MGM Cotai, promoted by MGM China Holdings Ltd.
Also full for more than four nights were; Sands Macao on Macau peninsula; and Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel, St Regis Macao, and Conrad Macao, Cotai Central, all promoted by Sands China Ltd.
The others sold-out on more than four consecutive days were: Banyan Tree Macau, Galaxy Hotel, JW Marriott Hotel Macau, The Ritz-Carlton, Macau, and Hotel Okura Macau, all at Galaxy Macau casino resort in Cotai; and Broadway Macau next door, all promoted by Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. Galaxy Entertainment’s StarWorld Hotel, in downtown Macau, was also among the cohort.
Five other hotels at casino complexes in the city had bookings blocking off at least four days of the Chinese New Year period. They were: Four Seasons Hotel Macao, Venetian Macao and Parisian Macao, all promoted by Sands China in Cotai; Altira Macau, promoted by Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd in Taipa; and MGM Macau, MGM China’s property located in downtown Macau.
The website of Sands Cotai Central does not list Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Central as a currently-available hotel at the resort. In March a senior executive at Sands China confirmed to GGRAsia that work had begun to convert the-then 1,200-room hotel into a 600-room, all-suite hotel known as The Londoner.
Some day one, day two vacancies
As of Friday, out of a total of 26 hotels at Macau casino resorts – surveyed by GGRAsia – that offered either three-, four-, or five-star accommodation, room availability was mostly confined to either the first two or three days of the Chinese New Year holiday, or to the final day of the holiday.
The minimum nightly rate among those five-star properties surveyed that still had vacancies on the first day of the Chinese New Year period was above HKD1,400 (US$180). Most five-star hotels were asking between HKD2,500 and more than HKD3,000 for still-vacant rooms for the first day of the festive period, according to booking information on the hotels’ respective official websites.
Macau had a total of 41,148 operational guest rooms as of December, according to the latest-available information from Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO).
The Chinese New Year break is typically a busy period for Macau’s casinos, as thousands of mainland Chinese visitors flock to the city to test their luck for the coming 12 months.
The average hotel occupancy rate for last year’s Chinese New Year holiday – which fell on February 4 to February 10 – was 96.7 percent across Macau hotels and guest-houses, according to MGTO. For five-star hotels, it was 97.6 percent. The MGTO data also showed the average room rate for the city’s five-star hotels at the time was MOP2,153.60, while that of the four-star properties stood at MOP1,599.
MGTO director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes gave a bearish forecast on Wednesday for the city’s visitor arrivals during this year’s Chinese New Year holiday. The official said it was possible there would be a “6 percent” year-on-year decline.
She said likely causes included fewer mainland tourists making two-centre trips to Hong Kong and Macau and coming to the latter via Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge; and an uptick in bookings by outbound mainland tourists to “long-haul” destinations during the vacation period.
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