A mecca for MICE
BY BRAD FOSTER
The transformation of Macau into a mecca for meetings and incentives continues unabated with the destination tailor-made for the business events sector.
Macau has bolstered its standing as a destination for the MICE market with a slate of new facilities coming online.
From the time when Portuguese traders established Macau as a gateway to the Orient, Macau has continued to charm the world with its east-meets-west attractions and cultural values.
The Macau of today, positioned in the Pearl River Delta near China’s Guangdong province, just 60km from Hong Kong, thrives on old-meets-west characteristics, with recent additions complementing its historic legacies, many of which are protected by UNESCO World Heritage status.
Visitors are encouraged to take a stroll along the narrow streets and through the colourful squares of old Macau to see beautiful Portuguese architecture alongside centuries-old Chinese temples and gardens. Barra Square, Lilau Square and Senado Square are among a host of fascinating districts. In contrast are the large neon-lit precincts such as the Cotai Strip which links the Macau islands of Taipa and Coloane.
For the MICE sector, the Cotai Strip® is where the new action is happening. In mid-2011 the impressive US$1.9 billion Galaxy Macau resort opened, giving the MICE market even more options for meetings and incentives in Macau.
Located in the heart of the Cotai Strip this mega resort boasts an array of stylish restaurants, vibrant bars, great shopping, expansive conference space and the world’s largest wave pool.
It also houses an array of swish restaurants, vibrant bars, ritzy shops, glamorous spas and contemporary function centres, and three different styles of international hotels. Located here is a Banyan Tree hotel, the 1500-room Galaxy Hotel and 410-room Hotel Okura Macau.
Another new collection of properties is the Las Vegas Sands Corporation’s “hedgerow of hotels” with leading international hoteliers Starwood Hotels (St Regis and Sheraton) waving the flags.
The St Regis Macao has 341 rooms, 119 suites and 429 residences in a 39-storey tower while the 4000-room Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central is highlighted by two distinctly different towers each with varying class of offerings and billed as the largest hotel along the Cotai Strip.
Often described as Asia’s “ultimate meetings destination” is the impressive Sands® Cotai Macao which provides an unbeatable range of 10,000 guestrooms from five international hotel brands: The Venetian® Macao ; Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central; Conrad® Macao, Cotai Central; Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Central and Four Seasons Hotel Macao.