An increase in tourists to Macau helped the recovery of the city’s hospitality sector in November. A total of 1.10 million guests was recorded in Macau hotels and guesthouses that month, up by 18 percent from the prior-year period, show data disclosed on Thursday by the city’s Statistics and Census Service. The improvement followed year-on-year increases of 18.3 percent and 20.9 percent in September and October, respectively.
The average occupancy rate in November stood at 86.4 percent, up by 1.9 percentage points from a year earlier, said the statistics bureau.
There were 107 hotels and guesthouses operating at the end of November 2016. The number of guest rooms totalled 36,100 at the end of last month, compared to nearly 32,000 rooms at the end of November 2015.
Several new casino resorts have opened in Macau’s Cotai district this year, pushing up the total number of hotel rooms available in the city. Wynn Macau Ltd’s 1,700-room Wynn Palace and Sands China Ltd’s 3,000-room the Parisian Macao, launched on August 22 and September 13 respectively.
Visitor arrivals to Macau in November totalled 2.59 million, official data showed on Wednesday. The official figures show that the number of overnight visitors last month rose by 10.4 percent year-on-year, to 1.37 million.
In the first 11 months of 2016, the tally of hotel guests stood at 10.8 million, an increase of 14 percent from the prior-year period. The average occupancy rate for the January to November period was 82 percent, up by 1.4 percentage points year-on-year.
Hotel room rates in Macau have been declining this year when measured in year-on-year terms, according to figures from the Macau Hotel Association. In November, the average price for Macau’s hotels – including 3-, 4- and 5-star hotels – stood at approximately MOP1,203 (US$150.6), 9.8 percent below the average cost a year earlier.
Brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd said in a recent note that Macau casino operators would need more hotel capacity in order to overcome “bottlenecks” caused by spiking demand at weekends and public holidays.
“Currently, almost all the mass [market] recovery has come from play on weekends and holidays. Operators will need more hotel capacity and at some point in the future [more] gaming capacity,” said brokerage analysts.
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"Given the opaque nature of the VIP segment (56 percent of gross gaming revenue in first quarter 2017), forecasting Macau GGR with a fair amount of certainty is difficult; therefore, we remain cautious"