Benefited from gambling, services, and exports sectors, Macau posted a strong 18.7% annual growth in nominal gross domestic product last year. Boosted by a number of large-scale infrastructure projects in the community, including Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, Macau light railway projects, and six new hotel casinos, economic development in Macau will receive strong support and promote the development of local and regional tourism and hence their respective hospitality industry.
Average total number of visitors in Macau amounted to 29.33 million people in 2009-2013, up 5% per year, against the average annual growth of 30% in gambling revenue in Macau. Mainland visitors from Guangdong Province to the City stayed high at 8.2 million in 2013, representing over 40% of the Mainland visitors, and far exceeding other Provinces in China. In other words, Macau has a low penetration rate on visitors from other major provinces and municipalities in Mainland China.
Market research indicated that despite a stable improvement in total overnight visitors, there could have been a shortage of at least 20,000 beds per annual in between 2009 and 2013, suggesting the actual supply of guestrooms in hotels and serviced apartments was unable to meet such demand. Five-star hotels offered 18,000 guestrooms, accounting for over two-third of the total hotel supply in Macau in 2013, while mid-range three and four-star hotels had a total of close to 8,000 hotel rooms, hinting a huge growth potential in mid-range hotels.
Looking ahead, Macau visitor arrivals are likely to be boosted by the construction of major infrastructure, such as the Hengqin Checkpoint, extension project of Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Rail, and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, which can significantly reduce travel times, and further increase Macau’s appeal to visitors from Mainland China and Hong Kong in the future.