General hotel occupancy in Macau reached levels of between 80% to 90% during the May 1 holidays, giving the industry confidence that the worst has passed, president of the Macau Hoteliers & Innkeepers Association, Cheung Kin Chung, has been quoted as saying.
The first day of the long weekend, May 1, saw 44,000 tourists arrive in Macau. The previous day saw 41,000 arrivals. These numbers make these two days record highs during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Cheung noted that the high hotel occupancy rate was within the industry’s expectation when he spoke with local Chinese paper the Macao Daily News, adding that the city should still be vigilant about a relapse outside of China.
He recalled that before the commencement of the five-day holiday period in Mainland China, the booking rate had already reached as high as 70%, making the industry expect higher occupancy rate during the holidays.
It turned out the industry was right, considering the actual occupancy rate.
Cheung sees recovery of the industry speeding up. He explained that as the pandemic has focused on mainland Chinese for domestic travel, tourists from the north of Macau tend to stay longer in the city.
Recent data showed that the duration of each hotel booking was at least two nights. However, some more time is needed for room rate to reach pre-Covid highs. Cheung is confident that hotel occupancy will remain at the 50% level after the long holiday.
The influx of tourists has also led to better performance in the catering industry. Fong Kin Fu, vice chairman of the council, The United Association of Food and Beverage Merchants of Macao, said that restaurants and eateries across the city only saw increases from the third day of the holiday period.
Fong attributed the recovery to hotels offering competitive packages that lengthened the stay of tourists, which at the end of the day benefited the retail and catering industries. He disclosed that outlets in tourist districts saw lots of diners and even queues outside their venues, giving him the impression that tourists are returning. In contrast to Cheung, Fong was not confident with the outlook prior to the holiday period.
Meanwhile, tourists were reportedly driven to experience local “Cha-Chaan-Teng” (cafeteria) culture by mainland online review platforms. Some 50% more business was recorded.
Tourism | May Day holiday expected to outperform previous Golden Weeks: MGTO
The Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) is anticipating the aggregate tourist arrivals to Macau during the five-day May Day Holiday to exceed that of previous Golden Weeks, Lam Tong Hou, representative of the MGTO, confirmed at yesterday’s Covid-19 media briefing.
On May 1, Macau registered upwards of 44,000 daily tourist arrivals — the city’s highest daily arrival count since the coronavirus outbreak.
According to the data compiled by the MGTO, the seven-day Spring Festival Golden Week from February 11 to 17 this year saw a total of 90,615 tourists, down 65.3% from the same holiday in 2020 with regard to the tally of average daily visitors.
In terms of the October Golden Week in 2020 from October 1 to 8, there were 156,000 holidaymakers. This translates to a sharp plunge of 86% in average daily visitor arrivals from the same period in the preceding year.
Considering the May Day Holiday is about to wrap up, yesterday and today are expected to be the peak for travelers leaving Macau and for returnees, especially at border points between Zhuhai and Macau, said Ma Chio Hong, head of the Division of Operation and Communications of the Public Security Police Force (PSP).
As of 5 p.m. yesterday, Macau saw over 200,000 people in daily people traffic, including those departing from and entering Macau. More than 20,000 travelers visited Macau yesterday.
Ma vows that the police force will carry out crowd diversion measures if needed. The MGTO also pledges to continue regular surveillance works to ensure local accommodation strictly follows anti-pandemic protocols. HT