The Macao Government Tourism Office said the number of visitors to Macau climbed 8 percent year-on-year during the seven-day Golden Week holiday from October 1 to 7 inclusive, to 1.15 million tourists. The number of visitors from mainland China increased by 6.9 percent year-on-year to 970,000, accounting for 84 percent of the total visitor arrivals during the period, according to official data.
Visitor arrivals from Taiwan and Hong Kong rose by 15.7 percent and 12.5 percent respectively, said the Macao Government Tourism Office. The numbers, based on data from the Public Security Police, include arrivals by Macau non-resident workers and by students that are not Macau residents
According to figures provided by the city’s hotel industry and quoted by the tourism authority, the average occupancy rate of Macau hotels was 92.3 percent during the Golden Week holiday, a festive period that encompasses China’s National Day on October 1. The figure represented a year-on-year increase of 5.1 percentage points.
The average occupancy rate of 5-star hotels surveyed in Macau was 94.4 percent, up 5.5 percentage points; whereas the average occupancy rates of 4-star and 3-star hotels were respectively 88.3 percent and 93.1 percent. Those were year-on-year gains, respectively, of 3.9 percentage points and 5.7 percentage points.
Casino operators in Macau have shifted their focus to tourists and mass-market gamblers by adding more non-gaming facilities to their resorts, investment analysts have recently noted. In the second half of this year, Macau has seen the launch of two new Cotai casino resorts: Wynn Palace, a 1,700-room facility promoted by Wynn Macau Ltd; and the Parisian Macao, the latest Macau gaming and entertainment resort from Sands China Ltd.
Casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd stated last week that the flow of visitors and spending had been better than expected in the first few days of October.
Analysts Cameron McKnight and Robert Shore of Wells Fargo Securities LLC said the brokerage’s checks during the Golden Week period suggested the premium mass and VIP segments were “performing well”. “But grind mass has been soft – as this group has been allocating their discretionary spending towards other entertainment activities,” they added in a note dated October 7, referring to the players with more modest gambling budgets.
Macau has for two consecutive months seen year-on-year gains in gross gaming revenue (GGR). Macau’s casino GGR rose 7.4 percent year-on-year in September, following the 1.1-percent year-on-year increase in August that broke a 26-month losing streak.
Wells Fargo said it expects Macau casino GGR to grow 1 percent to 7 percent in October, compared to a year earlier.
“This assumes October same store ADR [average daily rate] will trend little higher than [it would] with historical seasonality (up 15 percent month-to-month on average) for the month chiefly attributed to new supply (Wynn Palace and Parisian) contributing an additional +1 percent to +2 percent month-to-month,” said Mr McKnight and Mr Shore.
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