Indian Globetrotters Among Macao’s Biggest Spenders
Macao is a perfect blend of sightseeing, adventure and stunning vistas and India has always been an important source market for Macao, says Arzan Khambatta, Head of Macao Government Tourism Office in India.
MACAO IS a short haul destination from India and saw 1,48,121 Indian arrivals in 2017. Arzan Khambatta represents Macao in India and explains how he is building awareness in India. “From participating in trade events and exhibitions to giving training sessions to travel agents in India, we wanted to increase awareness on Macao as a perfect holiday getaway. 2018 is the year of Gastronomy for Macao and it boasts of yet another world-renowned status as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, which is set to bring an array of new opportunities to promote Macao’s unique gastronomic culture and develop a sustainable tourism industry. We will also be focusing on some niche segments in 2018 besides leisure. We will be participating at MICE and Weddings focused events and conduct MICE and wedding planners FAM in the future to help them get acquainted with the destination,” he said.
According to Khambatta, Macao expects a positive growth in 2018, “India has always been an important source market for Macao. MGTO has been working extensively to explore the Indian market and lure more travellers from India to Macao. The Indian globetrotter is one of the biggest spenders, mostly in eat, shop and stay section at Macao,” he said.
Incentive Stimulation Program is specially designed to attract MICE tourists and support them to choose Macao as their MICE destination. These support measures have achieved encouraging results in the recent years with an increasing number of international meetings being held in Macao.
Macao has become a major MICE destination in the Asia-Pacific region as it has the required convention centres, world class hotels and capacity to hold huge conferences. The number of hotel rooms in Macao is set to increase by almost one-third over the next few years. Macao had approximately 38,700 hotel rooms – including guesthouses. There were 20 hotel projects under construction and a further 27 projects in the planning stage.
The Grand Lisboa Palace is scheduled to open soon and will encompass three hotels - The Palazzo Versace Macau, with its approximately 270 rooms, will be the first Palazzo Versace in Asia, and will benefit from the creative direction of designer Donatella Versace. Another iconic fashion designer, Karl Lagerfeld, is involved in the hotel design and for the first time he will lend his name to an entire property, the Grand Lisboa Palace’s Karl Lagerfeld Hotel, which will also house about 270 rooms. Another hotel slated to open soon is The 13, one of the most luxurious hotel ever built with an estimated cost of $1.4 billion.
Shorter haul destinations with easy connectivity, off-beat experiences and varied family experiences are now being preferred, according to Khambatta. Destination Weddings is on the rise and MGTO is aggressively promoting it in the coming years. With the rising economic status of the middle class and affluent population, outbound travel from India is on the rise. As per Khambatta, “Propelled by the economic boom, there has been an unprecedented level of wealth creation leading to the formation of a segment known as Ultra High Networking Individuals (UHNI). People in this segment are brand conscious, love luxury and experiential travel. They are willing to go beyond the regular itinerary to travel to newer destinations and are keen on using online research to book hotels, tickets, sightseeing etc. MICE will also continue to grow and corporations will be on the lookout for new destinations.”
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