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Macau studies boosting tourism through budget hotels 

Macau is considering the addition of more budget hotels to enhance the competitive power of its tourism industry. 

The Chief Executive of Macau SAR, Ho Iat Seng, has acknowledged an imbalance in the proportion of star-rated hotels in the gaming hub compared to more lower-tier options. The top official opines that there are currently too many five-star hotels and not enough three-star and four-star hotels, potentially affecting the appeal of Macau for group tourists.

According to data from the tourism bureau, there are approximately 28,000 five-star hotel rooms in the city and around 15,000 rooms in three or four-star hotels. The number of five-star hotels significantly exceeds that of other room types in the market.

Most five-star hotels in the city are located in integrated resorts featuring casinos, shops, and non-gaming amusements.

Lou Chi Leong, Chairman of the Macau Hoteliers & Innkeepers Association, supports the government’s idea, lauding its forward-looking nature and comprehensive vision. “Macau needs to cater to high-end customers and the global middle class,” he notes. Having a variety of hotel accommodation options would bolster the competitiveness of Macau’s tourism sector, furthers the chairman.

Budget options, in particular, are highly regarded for tour groups. Most package tourists opt for three- or four-star hotels due to their affordability. Consequently, the imbalance of star-rated hotels in Macau indirectly weakens its overall competitiveness.

Increasing the number of three- and four-star hotels in the future could enrich the range of hotel formats, offering tourists more choices.

Andy Wu, the president of the Macau Tourism Industry Association, also supports this concept. He believes that lower hotel room prices would extend tourists’ length of stay, subsequently benefiting local consumption.

The Statistics and Census Bureau reports a total of 131 hotels in Macau by the end of June, representing a year-on-year increase of 10 hotels. This brought the available room count up by 15.7 percent to 43,000. The average room occupancy rate also rose by 44.4 percentage points, reaching 84.3 percent this year.

As of the second quarter of this year, there are nine hotel projects under construction in Macau, with a combined capacity of 3,732 rooms. Additionally, eight hotel projects are in the design phase, potentially offering 1,308 rooms. In other words, there is a potential new supply of 5,040 hotel rooms in the coming years.

Viviana Chan
Viviana Chan
Viviana Chan is an editor, interpreter, and journalist. With over a decade of experience, she writes in English, Chinese, and Portuguese. Viviana started her career in Macau-based newspapers, where she became passionate about the region's social, financial, and cultural development. Her writing focuses on the economy, emerging industries, gaming development, political affairs, and cross cultural-exchange in the business and cultural domains. She is avid for news and eager to discover and cover stories that generate public relevance.



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