While Macau posted its worst year for gambling in 2022, there are now high expectations that things might just turn around for the gaming hub during this coming year - and that rebound might start this month. Cheung Kin Chung, President of the Macau Hoteliers & Innkeepers Association, said he expects most of the city’s hotels to be fully occupied during Lunar New Year, to be celebrated on January 22.
Cheung, an appointed lawmaker, said in a conversation with public broadcaster Radio Macau he expects that, during the holiday period, local hotels will be at 90% capacity, which is the same level as the pre-Covid Lunar New Year holidays.
Cheung Kin Chung, President of the Macau Hoteliers & Innkeepers Association.
As reported by the Macau Daily Times, Cheung expects the peak of booking activities would occur five to seven days before Lunar New Year. The executive said that the peak of hotel occupancy and casino revenue will occur between January 23 and 26. Most incoming tourists will be individual or family travelers, and there might be some small groups as well, although group tours from mainland China have not yet resumed.
For his part, Wilfred Wong, President and Executive Director of Sands China, told Hong Kong media he expected the hotel occupancy rate will reach 90% during the holiday period, echoing Cheung's forecast.
This Lunar New Year holiday period is the first major holiday season in mainland China after the cessation of Covid-19 travel restrictions. Wong said casino revenue will also rise during this coming holiday season because, traditionally, Chinese people are eager to try their luck during Lunar New Year.
Wilfred Wong, President, and Executive Director of Sands China
As reported last week, tourists are flocking to Macau after the gambling hub moved to lift its Covid-19 restrictions earlier this month. Visitation to the Chinese city and its gaming revenue for the first 10 days of January are the best they have been in two years, according to reports by government officials, while JP Morgan Securities points out GGR reached 40% of the Q4 level in just 15 days.