DestinationsPlans include the development of a garden-themed venue and raising awareness of the destination’s cultural heritage.

Sands China ramps up non-gaming push

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Sands China has outlined plans to invest in MICE and tourism facilities in Macau over the next decade.
Sands China has outlined plans to invest in MICE and tourism facilities in Macau over the next decade.

Sands China has outlined plans to invest in MICE and tourism facilities in Macau over the next decade.

The casino and resort operator, a subsidiary of Las Vegas Sands Corp, said it plans to invest MOP27.8 billion (US$3.5 billion) in non-gaming projects that will also appeal to international visitors. This includes expanding, improving and optimising the scale and quality of its convention centres and related amenities.

Plans include the development of an 18,000sqm MICE facility adjacent to the existing Cotai Expo to cater for large-scale international MICE events. Sands also said it will strengthen the planning, organisation and international marketing of convention tourism in order to attract global multinational companies to host annual meetings and corporate summits in Macau.

An existing space, the ‘Tropical Garden’ on the south side of The Londoner Macao will be redeveloped to create a 50,000sqm garden-themed destination, called Le Jardin. The attraction will include a conservatory together with related green-themed spaces and amenities, with the aim of establishing Macau as a landmark of international renown, providing a year-round themed attraction for tourists and residents.

Sands China said it will also be spearheading Macau’s culinary offering, developing several new restaurants and introducing innovative international culinary concepts to support Macao's position as a city of gastronomy. The company will also launch a luxury yacht experience featuring on-board dining and entertainment including celebrity appearances, as well as water sports.

Speaking at a recent press conference announcing the plans, Sands China president Dr Wilfred Wong Ying Wai said: “With the support of the government and an extraordinary level of commitment from Sands China, Macau has evolved into a true international destination for leisure and business travel. We believe continued growth in Macau is still in front of us, and as demonstrated since we first began operating there, we will continue supporting and investing in Macau as it solidifies its position as one of the world's greatest tourism destinations."

Sands China is also establishing six new Sands China Academies focusing on MICE, looking in particular at hospitality, integrated resort management, responsible gaming and entertainment. The company will create an incubation centre to nurture local technology innovation and entrepreneurship.

Plans to promote Macao's cultural heritage to MICE participants were also unveiled. Sands said a Macau ‘Heritage Carnival’ will be hosted throughout traditional areas of the city, giving MICE groups the chance to host events at Macao's historical landmarks. Programmes to revitalise Macao's cultural heritage including partnering with local artists to hold regular performances, exhibitions and workshops in renovated buildings.

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