Macau Needs More 3- and 4-star Hotels Says City’s Leader
Macau’s Chief Executive, Ho Iat Seng, wants to see more four-star and three-star hotels developed in the city, so a greater number of package-tour vistors can afford to stay.
Mr Ho made the remark during a question-and-answer session held at a Friday plenary meeting of the city’s Legislative Assembly. During the occasion, legislator Cheung Kin Chung stated that the local tourism sector would support the Macau government’s policy of attracting a greater number of international visitors.
The Chief Executive stressed the city’s aim was to “welcome all kinds of tourists,” and not to be “differentiating them as high [quality] ones or low”.
He added: “Hotel room rates in Macau are skewed towards the higher side because of the city’s hotel occupancy status,” adding that much industry investment had been in “luxury hotels”.
The city’s leader said hotel room rates in Macau during the high-occupancy Easter holiday had been “a bit shocking”.
A GGRAsia survey of Macau hotel rooms for the Easter break, showed nightly rates – based on a standard room with either one king-sized bed or two double beds – of more than MOP2,000 (US$247) for Cotai establishments.
Mr Ho stated in his Friday remarks: “We must look at this existing problem. Macau is a market where you find more… the luxury, five-star hotels; whereas the three-star and four-star” segments were “our shortfalls,” said Mr Ho.
Referring to mainland China’s Individual Visit Scheme exit visa system used by the better-off independent travellers coming to Macau, he stated: “At this stage, we can see that luxury hotels have their [feeder] markets from visitors travelling here on individual visa permits, as well as the visitors that are coming here for conferences and exhibitions. But for package tours, many organisers feel that they cannot bear,” the room rates of luxury hotels.
The city’s leader noted the Macau government had been subsiding elements of some package tour group costs, including in relation to accommodation and flights.
“With the subsidies… we have managed to attract some visitors and package tours. But in the long run we have to resolve our shortfall,” in accommodation product, said Mr Ho.
As of February, Macau had a total of 38,839 operational guest rooms via an aggregate of 126 hotels and inns, according to information provided by Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) to GGRAsia.
From the aggregate, there were 22,611 rooms – or 58.2 percent – within the five-star category. Four- and three-star hotels accounted for 13,862 guest rooms – or 35.7 percent of the city’s operational inventory.
Macau’s tourist price index for the first quarter rose 18.16 percent year-on-year, to 138.20, due to “higher hotel room rates and airfares”, said the city’s Statistics and Census Service in a Friday update. Accommodation – the biggest component of the index during the first three months of this year – saw an increase of 124.89 percent year-on-year.
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