Hotel room rates across Macau are surging ahead of Chinese New Year, with standard rooms now regularly priced above HK$8,000 and in some cases exceeding HK$11,000. The sudden increase follows the lifting of border restrictions with mainland China and Hong Kong last Sunday, which has led to a dramatic rise in visitor arrival numbers since.
Across multiple booking platforms, room rates are significantly higher than this time last year for the Chinese New Year holidays with Wynn Palace costing almost HK$8,000 (US$1,000) a night , the Parisian costing almost HK$9,000 (US$1,150) and Altira Macau reaching HK$11,644 (US$1,500).
Last year, the price of similar rooms was between HK$1,000 and HK$2,000 (US$125 and US$250).
Macao Government Tourism Office Deputy Director Cheng Wai Tong said Wednesday it was difficult to compare the current hotel prices with the pandemic, stating, “The MGTO will keep a close eye on the room price situation and does not want to see [an excessive changes in prices].”
He also pointed out that “the number of hotel rooms available depends on the policies of the hotel companies themselves. Although the peak period of infection in Macau has passed, some hotel staff are still in the recovery stage and some hotels have already dismissed their staff during the pandemic, so the hotel industry may have a shortage of manpower in the short term.”
One employee working at a hotel on the Cotai Strip told IAG that hotel bookings began to increase after the relaxation of pandemic policies in mainland China in December but have jumped significantly since 8 January.
The employee noted that “some of the relatively inexpensive rooms were full early, so the prices of the remaining suites are being raised … the situation is just like during the 2019 Chinese New Year.”
The Vice President of the Macau Tourism and Hospitality Association, Robin Yu, told IAG, “Macau is still dominated by mainland and Hong Kong tourists for the time being.
“The hotel booking rate for Chinese New Year has not reached 90%, but it has improved a lot compared to the past. Although hotel prices have not fully returned to the levels of 2018 and 2019, room prices are in line with the industry’s expectations.”