Sands China in Macau supports calls for business diversification as it cannot rely on gaming alone.
Sands China President and CEO Wilfred Wong spoke at a business event hosted by the British Chamber of Commerce in Macau today. According to Wong, one of the six gambling operators represented in the region is already moving in the direction the government wants. It’s about diversification for the sake of the future development of Macau’s entertainment industry.
Wilfred Wong said, We can’t rely only on gaming because it’s not healthy. He reminded the audience that Macau’s casino operators have pledged to collectively invest 120 billion patacas (more than 1.1 trillion rubles) over the next 10 years, of which the vast majority will be directed at developing non-gaming projects to attract more foreign visitors.
The direction the government wants us to go is already provided in our development framework, Wong added. He also promised that Sands will help turn Macau into a world center for tourism and leisure.
The biggest challenge to the growth of the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) industry, Wong called the low level of hotel rooms. He compared their numbers in Macau and Singapore: 40,000 and 60,000 rooms, respectively. The president of Sands China acknowledged that many hotels are being built in Hengqing, but access to the Deep Cooperation Zone needs to be improved if international events are to be held there.
However, Wong cited the emergence of the Zhuhai High-Speed Railway (with connections to Hengqing) and the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge as stimuli for growth in the MICE sector. Regarding the overall outlook, Wong said, We have strong confidence in Macau. The worst is over.
Note: Gindi Capital demolished the modest mall and food court on the Strip, making way for a new project.
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