COVID-19: Short-Run Impacts of the Pandemic on the Integrated Resort Oligopoly of Macao

Resource type
COVID-19: Short-Run Impacts of the Pandemic on the Integrated Resort Oligopoly of Macao
Objective: As a world tourist destination, Macao is inevitably under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the market of integrated resorts in Macao are shared by only a few casino concessionaries, together forming an oligopoly. While the firms attempted to adjust price, quantity and quality of their hotel services in response to the pandemic, they could not overlook the strategic interactions with other players in the market. Hence, this paper aims to investigate the possible impact of the pandemic on the oligopolistic strategies in the integrated resort market in Macao. Methodology: Application of a theoretical model of differentiated oligopoly to this six-firm case shows that price differences across firms depend on their quality differentiation. In order to analyze these price differences empirically, this paper collects data of hotel room rates of the integrated resorts from November, 2019 to mid-August, 2020, covering the periods before and after the outbreak of COVID-19. Originality: In the existing literature, there is a lack of studies of the oligopoly in the hospitality industry of Macao. Furthermore, the effect of COVID-19 is still ongoing, so this present paper is one of the first to perform such analysis. Results: The regression of each of the hotel price differentials on the COVID-19 dummy variable shows that COVID-19 has statistically significant impacts on almost all the price differentials. Intuitively, MGM and Wynn were in the high-price segment before and after the outbreak, while other firms switched positions in the low-price segment during the pandemic. One obvious downstream movement was by Conrad. According to the proposition derived from the theory, these imply that COVID-19 should have significant impact on the quality differentiation of the firms. Practical implications: The results are in line with the observations that the integrated resorts have rolled out staycation packages according to preferences of local residents. These quality adjustments observed in Macao’s hospitality industry currently only involved variable inputs rather than fixed inputs of production; therefore, the impact of COVID-19 should be seen as short-term effects. Keywords: Covid-19; Differentiated oligopoly; Hospitality industry; Hotel room rate; Oligopolistic market structure; Pricing strategy.
Conference Name
The International Workshop Tourism and Hospitality Management (IWTHM2021)
Short Title
Library Catalog
Lei, W. C. (2021). COVID-19: Short-Run Impacts of the Pandemic on the Integrated Resort Oligopoly of Macao. 121–137.