Macau Hotel lower prices but fail to attract visitors

The final numbers are in for how the Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday period treated Macau and they’re not too impressive.

Despite increased travel options as certain COVID-19 restrictions were eliminated and lower prices at the city’s hotels, average occupancy rates were substantially lower than they were last year.

Given that last year also saw a year-on-year decline, Macau is going to have more difficulty launching a major recovery in 2021.

Last year, visitation to Macau during the CNY period was as much as 60% less than it was in 2019 and some hotels were scrambling for guests.

CNY of 2020 was celebrated from January 24-30, just ahead of the major global threat by the coronavirus. This year, the average hotel occupancy rate dipped 4.6% lower to just an average of 48.3%, with total visitation during the CNY period, which ran from February 11-17, at only 90,615. That was down by 65.3% from last year’s already-suppressed activity.

Macau’s five-star accommodations managed to see average occupancy rates of around 50.6%, 4.7% lower than last year, while four-star properties moved upward. These saw an average occupancy rate of 49.8%, which was an improvement of 1.5% over last year’s results.

The difference in performance between the two tiers could be attributed to cost, with five-star properties having reduced their rates by an average of 38.7%, with an average nightly rate of $180.60. However, four-star properties cut their rates by 50% to an average of $91.75.

It had already been expected that this CNY period would not be very productive, despite officials’ best efforts to create a normalized environment for visitors.

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