The head of Macau’s tourism bureau said on Friday that only up to 6.5 percent of Macau hotel rooms were presently out of use due to staff shortages. Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, director of Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), made the comments at a plenary session of the city’s Legislative Assembly.
She said 2,000 to 3,000 rooms from about 46,000 MGTO-licensed rooms, were currently out of use due to labour shortages, in particular for housekeeping staff.
Her comments did not mention specifically what the active inventory levels were during the recent Chinese New Year holiday period at the end of January.
Luís Herédia, president of the Macau Hotel Association, had told GGRAsia in the run up to that holiday break, an issue for the luxury hotel names in the city was being able to ensure they could maintain the service quality associated with their brands, at a time when the industry was trying to rebuild its workforce numbers following the three-year slump in tourism associated with Covid-19 restrictions to travel.
In the gaming sector – an industry associated with some of Macau’s luxury hotel brands – the number of non-resident workers fell by nearly half between the end of January 2020 and the end of October 2022, said in November the head of the city’s Labour Affairs Bureau, Wong Chi Hong.
As of October 31 last year, the Macau gaming sector had 18,514 non-resident workers. At the end of January 2020 – around the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic – the sector had employed in aggregate 35,288 such workers.
In separate comments last week, MGTO’s deputy director Cheng Wai Tong said the city had been receiving 50,000 visitors daily, even after the Chinese New Year holiday period.
Macau had just over 451,000 visitor arrivals in the seven days that mainland China counted as the Chinese New Year holiday for 2023. The daily average over the holiday period was 64,435, with the single-busiest day reaching 90,391. That was the most since before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, in early 2020.
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