Occupancy levels for most of the hotels in casino properties in Macau are likely to be strong during the coming Golden Week surrounding the Chinese New Year holiday period. That is according to data collated by GGRAsia from those hotels’ respective official booking websites. Some properties already have no rooms available for the holiday period.
The first day of the Chinese New Year period in 2017 falls on January 28 (Saturday).
According to the checks by GGRAsia, all hotels in Macau’s Cotai district located in casino resorts run by gaming operator Sands China Ltd are fully booked in the period from January 30 to February 1. Properties operated by Sands China on Cotai include: Venetian Macao, the Sands Cotai Central, the Parisian Macao and the Plaza Macao.
Hotel room availability for the January 30 to February 1 period at the Galaxy Macau casino resort, run by Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd, and at Studio City and City of Dreams, both operated by Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd, was also limited as of Monday afternoon.
“I believe most hotels [in Macau] will reach occupancy levels of over 90 percent during the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday,” Macau Travel Industry Council president, Andy Wu Keng Kuong, told GGRAsia.
He added that Macau would likely record an increase in visitor numbers during Chinese New Year compared with the same period in 2016, particularly in visitors coming from the neighbouring Guangdong province.
“Macau now has more hotels for people to choose from compared to last year, and there has been a lot of promotion done [by casino operators]. This has helped to attract more visitors,” Mr Wu said.
“Compared to the same period last year, I would say that bookings for the Chinese New Year holiday this year have improved given that we have had a 10-percent-plus increase in the number of guest rooms,” he added.
There were 107 hotels and guesthouses in operation in Macau at the end of November, according to the latest available data from the city’s Statistics and Census Service. The number of guest rooms totalled 36,100 at the end of November, an increase of 14.0 percent in year-on-year terms.
New resorts fully booked
Two new casino resorts opened in Macau’s Cotai district in 2016, pushing up the city’s total hotel room inventory: Wynn Macau Ltd’s 1,700-room Wynn Palace was launched on August 22, and Sands China Ltd’s 3,000-room Parisian Macao opened on September 13.
The Parisian Macao is already fully booked for the period from January 30 to February 1, its official hotel room booking online page shows. As for Wynn Palace, there are no available rooms for the period from January 28 to February 2.
Brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd wrote in a Monday note that the first two days of the Chinese New Year holiday are generally softer in terms of visitor traffic in Macau – especially high rollers – than the remainder of the week-long holiday period.
“If the slow down leading into Chinese New Year over the next week is more pronounced than expected… monthly GGR [gross gaming revenue]… could fall short of our current expectation,” analysts Vitaly Umansky, Zhen Gong and Yang Xie wrote.
The brokerage forecasted on Monday GGR for full-month January in the range of between MOP20.2 billion (US$2.5 billion) and MOP20.5 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 8 percent to 10 percent.
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"After a challenging period, the Macau market is growing again, and its growth rate has been accelerating for three consecutive quarters. Our Macau operation is experiencing strong growth in both our mass gaming and non-gaming segments"
Chairman of gaming operator Las Vegas Sands and subsidiary Sands China