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MACAU BUSINESS “ Most of the casino-hotels in Macau Peninsula


are more or less a little bit old in comparison to those in the COTAI area. But because of space limitations it is difficult for them to make any important changes or renew their facilities [other than] some minor renovations. Some small casinos may be the exception.


ZENG ZHONGLU ”


MGSI is the only regular survey that evaluates the level of customer satisfaction and Macau Business has contacted its ranking officials (Macau Gaming Research Association and SGS Hong Kong Ltd.) for more details. Unfortunately, no response has been forthcoming. “Generally speaking, a visitor to a hotel or a gambler in a


casino likes new facilities,” states Zeng Zhonglu, Professor of the Gaming Teaching & Research Centre, Macau Polytechnic Institute. “If a facility is too old, then the attraction will gradually disappear, especially with fierce competition between operators.” Interviewed by Macau Business, the President of the Asia


Pacific Association for Gambling Studies understands that “most of the casino-hotels on the Macau Peninsula are more or less a little bit old in comparison to those in the COTAI area. But because of space limitations it is difficult for them to make any important changes or renew their facilities [other than] some minor renovations. Some small casinos may be the exception.” Professor Zeng concedes that “so far the hotels of these locations are doing very well if we judge them by occupation rates and daily price rates.” But, he states, “the main problem is the casino business. They’re not competitive against those of COTAI.”


Casino-less hotels


Not all hotels in Macau obviously have an associated casino (and it’s not even necessary to cite the four hotels of the Nam Kwong Group) but when it comes to 5-star hotels the situation becomes more peculiar. Take the case of the Mandarin Oriental Macau, operated


by local group Shun Tak Holdings Limited. The hotel – which does not have a gaming element, contrary to the other


major international hotel brands in the city – saw occupancy during the first six months of last year reach just 49 per cent vis-à-vis a citywide average of 84.7 per cent. To compensate for the low occupancy rate, Mandarin management bets on price. Shun Tak points out that the hotel ‘maintained an average room rate of about MOP2,000’ during the period in question and that its occupancy was due to ‘clear differentiation strategies in the upmarket non-gaming segments’ and that it ‘maintained leading ranking in online booking platforms.’ Another 5-star hotel in the same circumstances is Crown Plaza, located in a zone closer to the Border Gate and away from the casinos located in NAPE and ZAPE (or almost all). But on this hotel we could get no data. Thus a comparison made on a booking reservations website shows that the rooms in Crown Plaza are significantly cheaper than the ones in Mandarin Oriental.


24 MAY 2019


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