Visitor arrivals to Macao surged by 260% year-on-year in March, to about 750,000. The figure was up 76.7% from the previous month, according to data released by the Macao SAR Government Statistics and Census Service (DSEC). While visitor arrivals showed a decrease for the whole of the first quarter, preliminary figures for April show that the trend from March continues in a steady increase trajectory.
About 91.2% of visitors to Macao in March came from Mainland China. The number of Mainland visitors leapt by 674.4% year-on-year in March, to more than 680,000.
The average length of stay of all visitors and overnight-stay visitors shortened in March. The average length of stay of all visitors was 1.6 days, with the average stay of overnight visitors at 2.9 days. Same-day visitors stayed an average of 0.1 days in March.
Overnight-stay visitor arrivals in March rose by 221.6% year-on-year, to about 400,000; whereas same-day visitor arrivals increased by 304.6% to nearly 350,000.
In the first quarter of 2021, visitor arrivals to Macao declined by 46.0% from the prior-year period, to nearly 1.74 million.
Visitors from Mainland China decreased by 31.7% year-on-year to nearly 1.57 million in the first three months of 2021, accounting for 90.0% of all arrivals in the period. Among those visitors, Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) visitors declined by 46.2% to 1.13 million.
The first quarter of 2021 encompassed the Spring Festival Golden Week holiday, which ran from 11 to 17 February in Mainland China. Official figures show that about 90,000 visitors arrived in Macao during the Spring Festival Golden Week, 65.3% fewer than the arrivals recorded in the equivalent period last year. The average occupancy rate of local hotels was 48.3%, a year-on-year decrease of 4.6 percentage points.
Mainland tourists accounted for 90.7% or about 82,000 of the arrivals to Macao during the Spring Festival holidays, 44.9% fewer than during the equivalent period in 2020.
Visitors steadily increasing in April
During the three-day Ching Ming Festival (3 to 5 April) and the Easter Holidays (2 to 6 April) Macao totalled 99,000 visitor arrivals, according to preliminary figures, marking an average daily volume of 19,914 visitors. That was up 53.8% from the average daily volume during the Spring Festival Golden Week.
The provisional figures showed that visitors from Mainland China (90,491) accounted for more than 90% of all visitors during the holiday break.
Figures provided by industry operators revealed that local hotel establishments, including guest houses, also saw a higher average occupancy rate compared to the Spring Festival Golden Week, reaching 53.1% between 2 and 6 April.
In addition, provisional figures show that from 9 to 15 April visitor arrivals totalled 190,000, with an average daily volume of 27,404 visitors, up by 111.7% compared with the average daily visitor arrivals during the Spring Festival Golden Week (12,947).
On 17 April alone, Macao recorded 34,729 visitor arrivals, the highest daily total since the advent at the start of last year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the same time, hotel establishments saw an average occupancy rate of 61.0% between 9 and 15 April, a rise of 12.7 percentage points compared with that of the Spring Festival Golden Week (48.3%).
The Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) has been strenuously promoting Macao as a healthy, safe and quality destination. The “Beijing Macao Week” and the “Macao Week in Hangzhou” were organised respectively in September and March, with the aims of attracting Mainland visitors to travel to Macao, expanding visitor source markets, and spurring economic revival.
|Hotel occupancy uptick|
Data from the Statistics and Census Service of the Macao SAR Government shows an increase in hotel occupancy in the first three months of 2021, thanks to a growth in March.
The average occupancy rate of guest rooms rose by 3.6 percentage points year-on-year, to about 44.9%. However, in terms of overnight guests, local hotels and guesthouses welcomed 1.45 million in the first quarter of 2021, a year-on-year decline of 1.2%. In addition, the average length of stay of guests shortened by 0.1 of a night year-on-year to 1.7 nights.
In March, the number of guests checked into Macao hotels and guesthouses increased by 160% year-on-year, to 622,000. Guests from Mainland China (539,000) rose by 220%.
Attributable to a rise in overnight visitors, the average occupancy rate of guest rooms in March was 55.3% (excluding rooms being used for COVID-19-related medical observation), representing a growth of 16.9 percentage points month-on-month, and a rise of 32.1 percentage points year-on-year.
The average room rate in Macao hotels from January to March was MOP802.6, or 29.8 percent less than a year earlier, according to data from the Macau Hotel Association.
As of 31 March, there were 120 local hotel establishments with an inventory of about 36,000 rooms.
|1Q Tourist Price Index down on lower hotel rates|
For first-quarter 2021, the average Tourist Price Index fell to 115.78 points, a 15.16% decline compared to a year earlier.
The decrease was mainly attributable to a year-on-year fall in hotel room rates, and a decline in prices for traditional local food products and airfares. Higher prices for jewellery partially offset the decrease, according to data from the Macao SAR Government Statistics and Census Service.
In comparison with the fourth quarter of 2020, the price index for the first three months of 2021 dropped by 2.05%. Prices of accommodation, and clothing and footwear declined sequentially, owing to lower hotel room rates and seasonal sale of winter clothing. But prices for entertainment and cultural activities and restaurant services increased quarter-on-quarter.
The index tracks price changes in the goods and services purchased by visitors. The categories used are based on the typical consumption patterns of tourists and include food, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, clothing and footwear, accommodation, restaurant meals, transport and communications, health-related products and personal goods, and entertainment and cultural activities.