THE MACAU METRO MONITOR

07/14/09 10:52AM EDT

MACAU HOTEL OCCUPANCY DIVES TO 54.9%, LOWEST SINCE 2003 scmp.com

Hotel occupancy in Macau has not been this low since the 2003 outbreak of SARS.  Now, in 2009, the swine flu outbreak and a crackdown on "zero-free" package tours by the mainland government are contributing to the slump.  Average hotel occupancy across Macau in May was 59.4%, down from 72.9% during the same period in 2008. 

The number of hotel rooms in operations was essentially unchanged in the five months since the grand opening of the hotel tower at SJM Holdings' Grand Lisboa in December last year.  Visitation statistics resonated with the poor hotel figures; visitor arrivals fell 20% in May from a year earlier and 15% from the previous month despite dual holidays falling in May.  The negative impact of this decline carried into June's gaming revenues which were down 17% from a year earlier, according to preliminary data from the Portuguese news agency Lusa.

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