Last week’s edition of the seven-day Chinese New Year holiday reportedly proved successful for Macau as the enclave surpassed an earlier official estimate to welcome well over one million tourists for the first time in its history.
Earlier estimate smashed:
According to a Monday report from GGRAsia citing official figures from the Macao Government Tourism Office, the city of around 653,100 inhabitants hosted some 1.21 million visitors over the course of the seven days from February 4. This figure represented an increase of 26.6% year-on-year and far exceeded an earlier prediction that had forecast a maximum 9% rise to about 1.04 million.
The majority of Chinese New Year tourists, reaching around 899,000, had travelled to Macau from mainland China, which represented a swell of 25.6% year-on-year, with some 21% of these having utilized the recently-opened Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.
Preliminary figures suggest that the checkpoint at Gongbei had been the city’s busiest point of entry during the week-long period thanks to admitting some 601,000 people from neighboring Guangdong Province.
Lackluster gaming revenues:
However, brokerage firm Sanford C Bernstein and Company reportedly stated that the significant swell in the number of people visiting Macau had not led to an associated boost in aggregated gross gaming revenues. The Hong Kong-based analyst’s Kelsey Zhu, Vitaly Umansky and Eunice Lee purportedly explained that the first ten days of February had seen the enclave record average daily rates of $103.9 million with the figure for the entire month expected to post a maximum year-on-year improvement of only about 5%.
According to a statement from the Sanford C Bernstein and Company analysts…
“Month-to-date mass gross gaming revenues are estimated to be up modestly by low single digits of percent month-on-month whereas VIP volume will be up by high single digits of percent month-on-month. While visitation was robust during holiday period, many high rollers have stayed away from Macau; as is frequently the case. We are likely to see some strengthening in high-end play during the second half of this month.”