Source: CEI Asia

Macau’s recent incremental downturn in casino revenues has meant the search is on for new leisure and business tourism segments to fill rooms and stimulate spending across non-gaming elements. A visit by an events’ traveller to a Macau integrated resort can also mean spending on the casino floor and across retail sectors.

Creating and attracting new business events markets here will take time with business tourism being highly competitive, and with issues of shifting Macau’s destination into a global entertainment centre—much as Las Vegas did in the 1990s—to then become a leading convention and exhibition city.

Given the growing venue space, particularly on the Cotai Strip, a natural MICE segment for the city to leverage from are exhibitions and trade shows. Some major trade shows are government-run, though the private sector has created themed trade shows looking at a famous attribute, gambling. There is obvious scope to diversify trade shows around entertainment.

Notwithstanding delivering on the various heightened service expectations of business  travellers, the core of Macau’s future trade show growth will revolve around the qualified buyer-to-seller relationship. Some trade shows looked towards affluent gamblers for buyer support. However, declining casino revenues, and the reliance of other sectors on gaming, have meant their bottom line has been negatively affected.

Again, diversification into other buyer segments means less reliance and impact felt on any revenue fluctuations in the gaming industry. New trade shows might be created while others could relocate to Cotai. But future trade show buyers and sellers must see Cotai Strip as an obvious location to get qualified and lucrative deals. With the wrappings of Cotai’s entertainment/gaming industry, Macau’s tourism could evolve similar to Las Vegas.