At a time when Macau is continuously striving to develop
economic diversification and strengthen its role as a world
leisure and tourism centre, the new draft Hotel Business Law,
which is still under discussion in the Macau Legislative
Council, is designated to liberalise and diversify the
hospitality industry in various ways.
One of the main highlights of this bill is that it allows
budget accommodation, which can be provided by renting shared
rooms based on number of beds. Such provisions enable the
introduction into the market of non-traditional and low-cost
lodging services, such as the popular capsule hotel.
The bill does not suggest that any property can be used as
budget accommodation; only buildings and locations that have
been registered for hotel use can be used to provide budget
lodging. Therefore, offering such accommodation in private
homes still will not be allowed in Macau and, under Law 3/2010,
anyone providing accommodation for tourists without a legal
licence in individual apartments or premises that were not
built for hotel or similar purposes, will face an
administrative fine. The growing public displeasure with
illegal accommodation has led to the Macau chief executive
ordering a study on the feasibility of criminalising such
illegal lodging operations.
In addition to the establishment of a new type of affordable
accommodation, the bill also enables hotel operations inside
heritage-listed properties, subject to advance approval by the
On the other hand, the bill proposes reducing the minimum
required number of rooms for hotels from 40 to 10 rooms.
Requirements for two-star hotel facilities and services are
also eased as a way of encouraging the supply of this type of
accommodation, while requirements for hotels with five stars or
more are tightened in view of enhancing the quality standards
of luxury hotel services. The bill also sets up various
mechanisms to simplify and accelerate the hotel licensing
process, such as providing a one-stop licensing service.
Through defining a new legal framework and offering
alternative forms of accommodation, the Macau government aims
to develop and expand the hotel business in a sustainable
manner. Through these reforms, it is hoped Macau will be better
equipped to cope with the massive growth in Chinese visitors,
the consequent shortage of hotel rooms and the increase in cost
of such accommodation. It is hoped the new measures will
provide a positive response to the change in travelers'
expectations and needs with regards to lodging services.