Visitors on package tours fell 35.7% in September, latest official data shows. This was despite overall visitation rising by 8%, indicating a big shift over to IVS travellers, who come on individual visas.
Most of the drop came from mainland visitors. Of the 448,000 who came in on package tours, 323,000 were from the mainland, but their number was down 37.6%, probably due to the protests in Hong Kong.
The quality of the customers who ended up in casinos was not too bad, however. Official data shows that gross gaming revenues dipped -3% YoY in October. But this was apparently due to a terribly weak VIP performance; mass-market revenues, by contrast, were believed to have been strong, especially over the National Day holiday period at the start of the month, according to analysts quoted by GGRAsia.
Overnight-stay numbers were up. A total of 1,118,000 guests checked into hotels & guesthouses in September, up by 2.0% YoY. Growth was especially strong from Hong Kong (153,000, up 30.9%), while those from the mainland (754,000) inched down by 0.7%.
The average occupancy rate of hotels & guesthouses dropped by 2.1 percentage points YoY to 84.6%; the rates of 4-star hotels (83.2%) and 5-star hotels (87.0%) fell by 3.0 percentage points and 1.5 percentage points respectively. The average length of stay of guests held steady year-on-year at 1.5 nights.