Macau welcomed almost half a million tourists during the Chinese New Year festive week starting January 21st, which is a three times larger number than the same period last year. The rapid growth in these numbers started after the city re-opened on January 8th to take giant steps in getting back to the normal pre-pandemic rhythm.
Three times more visitors:
The city recorded a total of 451,047 visitor arrivals over the Gold Week of the Chinese New Year, which is 297 percent more on a year-on-year basis. On average, it booked 64,435 tourists a day during the seven-day period whereas the peak in visitor arrivals was reached in the middle of the week to count 90,391 tourists, which represented a 311.5 percent upturn in comparison to the same period last year.
Mainland China and Hong Kong visitors:
Industry professionals expect that Macau will continue to host an average of 30,000 to 40,000 tourists daily as the city continues to return to pre-pandemic levels. The 2019 visitor record set at 1.2 million arrivals seems within the reach of the region again, after three years of closure. This year, a huge number of tourists came from mainland China, but also Hong Kong which totaled at 164,672, or 36.5 percent of all visits to account for a stunning annual increase of 2,601 percent.
According to Asia Gaming Brief, Macau’s tourism bureau said the number of visitor arrivals during the festive period had “surpassed expectations.” The head of Macau’s tourism office expressed content over the number of Hong Kong visitors during the festive week, and the success of programs offered to them, such as free return tickets for at least one overnight stay in Macau.
High occupancy levels:
During the festival, average hotel occupancy reached 85.7 percent, which is a 22.4 percentage point yearly increase, with the highest occupancy level of 92.1 percent experienced on January 24 which marked the peak of tourist arrivals in the region. As expected, accommodation rates were also up by nearly 50 percent and reached MOP1,575 ($195.3) during the peak.
Still lacking manpower:
The resorts still face a lack of manpower due to the December surge in Covid-19 numbers. Las Vegas Sands Corp, the parent of Macau casino resort operator Sands China Ltd, stated on Wednesday that it was not operating 2,200 rooms at its Londoner Macao resort in the Cotai district for having been “short of manpower relative to full operating capacity”, but all casino operators continue to ramp up after the January 8 re-opening.
Pursuing the common goal:
Linda Chen, Vice Chairman and President of one of the six casino concessionaires Wynn Macau, told the media that she was happy with the occupancy figures and hopes these would be maintained. “The hotel occupancy has been very satisfactory. I hope that this trend will continue long term. We need to maintain the good work currently ongoing – not only the hotels and tourism sector but also pursuing the common goal of development of Macau’s diversified tourism products”, said Chen.