Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng has maintained a positive forecast for 2023 Macau’s gaming.
Macau.- Macau Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng said that the government will maintain its 2023 gross gaming revenue forecast of MOP130bn (US$16bn), noting that in order for the city to recover economically it will need to bring in at least MOP10bn (US$1.24bn) per month.
“For now the budget remains unchanged, but it is a figure that we all need to work hard together to achieve,” Ho told the media before attending a government banquet in celebration of the forthcoming Lunar New Year. The government initially estimated GGR for 2023 at MOP130bn when announcing its budget in November.
He added they have to observe how the situation will play out after travel among mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau resumed.
“The government will not revise this forecast for the time being and hopes that all sectors of the community will work hard to achieve this figure,” Ho said and noted that Macau’s economy is starting to show signs of recovery and it is important to wait and see the prevailing economic situation.
Despite the elevated number of Covid cases, the official assures that there won’t be a second wave of infections due to the Chinese New Year, claiming that residents now possessed a natural immunity after having been infected.
The Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) is expecting 40,000 to 50,000 daily arrivals during the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday, which begins on Sunday, January 22 and ends on Sunday, February 5. In 2019, pre-pandemic, they registered about 170,000 visitors per day during that break.
The reservation rate of Macau’s hotels for the Chinese New Year holiday period currently stands between just 30 and 50 per cent. Acting Director Cheng Wai Tong said that figure is expected to rise over the next two weeks: “There is still some time before the Chinese New Year holidays and the booking rate is expected to increase,” Cheng said. In 2022, the hotel occupancy rate was around 63 per cent, compared with 93 per cent in 2019.