Macau Mass Market Resorts Booked Solid for October Golden Week

Posted on: September 29, 2018, 08:00h. 

Last updated on: October 1, 2018, 08:53h.

Macau mass market casino resorts are benefiting from their marketing overhauls during the upcoming Golden Week holiday.

Macau mass market casino Golden Week
Next week’s Golden Week holiday will have Macau mass market hotels and casino floors crowded. (Image: Billy Kwok/Getty)

The October 1-7 period is one of two weeklong holidays in China. The other is in January or February that commemorates the Chinese Lunar New Year.

The fall Golden Week was launched by the People’s Republic of China in 1999 as a way to grow tourism. Most companies provide at least three paid days off for workers, and many take vacations. Macau is always a popular destination.

2018 is no different, as Morgan Stanley reports that numerous casino resorts have no available occupancy.

The financial services company says in a note that Wynn Macau and Grand Lisboa are fully booked on the Macau Peninsula. On the luxurious Cotai Strip, Wynn Palace, MGM Cotai, and The Parisian have no available rooms for the seven-day timeframe.

History Repeats

Morgan Stanley says 18 casino resorts are fully booked for at least one four-day stretch during Golden Week. That’s double the number of properties compared to the holiday in 2017.

Along with the five aforementioned properties, resorts booked solid for four days include Sands Macao, MGM Macau, Ritz Carlton, JW Marriott, and Four Seasons.

Golden Week couldn’t come at a better time, as Macau is reeling from Typhoon Mangkhut, a powerful storm that caused a mandatory closure of the enclave’s casinos. The 33-hour emergency shutdown is estimated to have lost $185 million in unrealized gross gambling revenue.

It’s a theme that’s all too familiar. A year ago, Macau was still recovering from Typhoon Hato, a catastrophic storm that killed 12 in the enclave and caused a region-wide economic loss of $1.42 billion.

The Macau Tourism Office said 844,522 visitors arrived in the world’s richest gambling hub during the 2017 Golden Week holiday, with more than 640,000 traveling from mainland China. 2018 is poised to be even busier, as hotel rooms continue to quickly fill up.

Mass Appeal

Macau casinos began rethinking their marketing after Chinese President Xi Jinping included VIP junket groups under his crackdown on corruption. The inclusion took gross gambling revenue from a record high of $45 billion in 2013, to less than $28 billion in 2016, a 38 percent decrease.

With tens of billions of dollars invested in the many integrated resorts, but a reduced number of VIP players, casinos switched their focus to the Macau mass market. Morgan Stanley data shows it’s keeping hotel rooms occupied.

MGM Cotai, the $3.4 billion property that opened in February, did so without VIP tables. Wynn Palace opened in late 2016 with a “SkyCab” ride that offers guests breathtaking views of the Cotai Strip. And Las Vegas Sands’ Parisian opened around the same time with a life-size replica of the Eiffel Tower, waterpark, and shopping center.

The Golden Week bookings prove the mass market continues to gain in importance. Along with the integrated resorts, hotels focused on nongaming guests such as the Holiday Inn, Sheraton, and St. Regis all have limited to no availability next week.