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Macau showcases its new tourism direction

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Macau showcases its new tourism direction
Under Macau’s economic diversification strategy, tourism is a priority, including business events. Leading the private sector push is Sands China, the largest operator of integrated resorts (IRs) in Macau. It brought ‘The Macao Showcase’ to Sands Expo & Convention Centre in Singapore from June 7-9.

The trade and consumer promotion was designed to increase Macau’s profile as an international leisure and MICE destination, to attract more international visitors and extend their length of stay.

Dr Wilfred Wong, president of Sands China, said the initiative was “to support the Macau government’s policies and efforts to diversify visitor source markets, fuel tourism, and spur economic revitalisation”.

Presented as an ‘East meets West’ destination, visitors could experience Macau’s gastronomy, fashion, arts, culture, heritage and wellness in different zones and engage with SME members of the 200-pax Macanese delegation.

Sands China also introduced its Sands Lifestyle+ campaign, which supports the destination marketing strategy of the Macao Government Tourism Office. It promotes the resort’s features and amenities as well as Macau’s world heritage sites, tourist hotspots and special events.

Besides a gala dinner, the other highlight for trade and business guests was the five-session MICE & Luxury Forum held in Singapore and livestreamed to an invited audience of industry associations and tertiary institutions in an extended reality studio at The Londoner Macao.

Forum panellist Vincent U, president of Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute, said the Greater Bay Area – including Macau and Hong Kong as well as nine mainland China cities – presents “big business opportunities” for the next decade. “MICE is a facilitator of business transactions,” he said, with some 1,000 business events expected this year. Acknowledging that mainland China has been the major customer, he said Macau is now tapping the international market. “We can facilitate interaction with the mainland China market.”

“For international business events, Macau is an attractive proposition because no visas are required from most countries; access is easy via Hong Kong and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge; and different types of accommodation and venues are available,” said Kris Kaminsky, Sands China’s senior vice president of hotel operations.

“This July, we’re hosting a global meeting for some 2,000 pax from a major consulting group across several Sands hotels and facilities.”

Official statistics recorded 208 MICE events in the first quarter of 2023, with 199,000 attendees, up 114.4 per cent and 20.5 per cent year-on-year, respectively. Just two incentives drew 2,299 participants.

Reflecting the growing confidence, RX is launching Asian IR Expo at Venetian Macao from July 11-13, alongside its Global Gaming Expo Asia which returns to its homebase after a successful second special edition in Singapore this May.

RX said: “The expo will feature content on travel, technology, esports, sports, wellness, art and entertainment to enhance tourism offering and industry development in Asia-Pacific integrated resorts.”

The IR summit will discuss various segments of the travel and tourism industry, with themed IR property tours also lined up.

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