Macau’s tourist price index, which reflects price changes in goods and services purchased by visitors, fell by 8.25 percent quarter-on-quarter and 7 percent judged year-on-year in the April to June period 2016, the latest data from the city’s Statistics and Census Service show.
It was the fourth consecutive quarter the index had recorded a year-on-year decline, according to official data.
The latest quarterly decrease was mainly driven by lower hotel room prices and reduced airfares following the peak period of the Lunar New Year holiday in February, said the statistics service on Thursday. The sub-index for accommodation was down by 32.37 percent quarter-on-quarter; in year-on-year terms, the decline of this sub-index was 29.27 percent.
The average cost of a Macau hotel room during the first five months of 2016 was MOP1,337.10 (US$167.41) per night, according to the Macau Hotel Association. That represented a fall of 15.5 percent from the prior-year period.
Chan Chi Kit, president of another industry body, the Macau Hoteliers and Innkeepers Association, told GGRAsia he expected the city’s hotel room rates would continue to decline in the second half of this year, given there will be more hotel rooms coming into the market as new resorts open on Cotai, while the overall number of visitor arrivals might not see any big increase in the coming months.
“In the second half of 2016, we’ll see the opening of two big-scale casino hotels that will altogether add over 4,000 more hotel rooms to the city. And with that backdrop, plus our expectation that we’ll not see any more big increase in visitors, the hotel room rate will very likely drop further,” Mr Chan told us.
Sands China Ltd’s US$2.7-billion Parisian Macao is set to open in mid-September, according to the company. The Parisian Macao will have approximately 3,000 guestrooms and suites.
Wynn Macau Ltd’s US$4.2-billion Wynn Palace resort is due to launch on August 22, the company has said. Wynn Palace will have a 1,700-room hotel.
Mr Chan, whose association draws its members from more than 60 hotels that do not have casino facilities, said competition in the Macau accommodation sector had intensified as some of the city’s casino hotels had introduced what he termed “attractive” packages featuring ferry tickets, hotel stay and complimentary services.
“Those kinds of packages did well to attract people to stay longer here,” Mr Chan said, but added “that might not necessarily stimulate the overall hotel occupancy rate in the city as we expect the extent of increase of the hotel room supply will outweigh that of our visitor arrivals.”
In the first five months of 2016, the city recorded a total of 4.5 million hotel guests – a figure inclusive of those staying in guesthouses. The tally was up 12.1 percent in year-on-year terms, according to information of the statistics bureau. That was despite a 0.8 percent decline – to 12.4 million – in the number of visitor arrivals in the same period.
By May, Macau had a total of 32,100 guest rooms, up by 8.6 percent year-on-year, official data show. The occupancy rate for the city’s hotels and guesthouses stood at 78 percent for the first five months this year, down by 1.4 percentage points year-on-year.
The risk of devaluation in China’s currency the renminbi and subdued consumer sentiment amongst mainlander Chinese visitors – reducing their appetite for shopping in Macau – might subdue growth in visitor arrival numbers in the coming months of the year, Mr Chan added.
Brokerage Wells Fargo Securities LLC said in a Monday note that its proprietary Macau room rate survey indicated Macau room prices were likely to rise 1.4 percent and 2.6 percent month-on-month in July and August respectively.
But the brokerage added: “September rates are down 6 percent versus average summer rates and are 9 percent lower than the year to date average.”
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