Despite how well revenues might be doing, tourism is showing healthy increases in Macau. The city’s tourism promotion body have announced a 37% year on year increase for the 2019 Labor Day holiday weekend.
The Macau Government Tourism Office celebrated the increase in a press release. They immediately credited the increase on visits from mainland China residents traveling across the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao bridge, and noted of the 531,503 total tourists who entered the administrative region for the first three days of the four-day weekend, 436,679 were from China, an increase of 42.7% when compared to 2018.
The decision to extend the holiday into a four day weekend likely meant that more people were willing to travel. They wrote that the decision to make it a longer holiday meant “more mainland residents were enticed to travel during the mentioned period…” The four-day weekend saw a total of 636,644 visitors, excluding students and employees.
Each hotel stay resulted in more money, as well. The average hotel rate increased 16.7%. With 40,162 total rooms and a 96.2% occupancy rate for the holiday period, a rise of 1.9%, resort operators and hotels made out with a handsome revenue.
They also noted inspections were carried out to ensure there were no “irregularities” with incoming tour guides, a well regulated sector of the industry. None were found, thankfully, except for four guides who forgot to carry their license with them.
This is a welcome start to the month of May for Macau, who’s had pessimistic gross gaming revenue (GGR) forecasts for months now. Coming off of the month of April, where the region as a whole saw an 8% drop in GGR, having these increases across the board could make a difference in how May plays out.
There’s no data on the VIP and mass-market split in the tourists who visited though. That will play a big factor in how much action operators saw, and how bottom-lines will look like at the end of the month. Analysts recently suggested that VIP betting revenue might recover later this year, when improved credit has a chance to kick in.