Mohit Rathod – Mumbai
Sands China, the majority-held subsidiary of integrated resort developer Las Vegas Sands Corp, is strengthening its focus on the India market with the launch of its seventh property, on the Cotai Strip – The Parisian Macao. Slated to open on September 13 this year, the French-themed property has brought Sands China’s total Macao investment to over US$ 13 billion. The property is also expected to increase tourist arrivals into Macao, whilst growing Sands China’s business. “We are working in co-ordination with Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) and Macao government to promote our properties and the destination,” said Ruth Boston, vice president – destination marketing and sales, Sands China Resorts Cotai Strip Macao. The Parisian Macao’s major focus will be on the leisure segment.
In June, business from the India market was up 20 per cent year-on-year for Sands China, as May to June is the peak leisure travel period for Indians. Boston informed, “India ranks fifth or sixth in terms of our key source markets, but it ranked fourth in June this year. Other key markets for us include Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan. India’s travel period is different than other countries, so it is complementary for us.”
Contradicting the overall ranking among key markets, India ranks first for Sands China in terms of package sales. Boston stated, “Response from the Indian travel trade has been very good. We have a lot of key partners here. We partner with Indian travel agents every single time we launch a new package.”
In terms of total Indian arrivals to Macao, about 70-80 per cent contribute to Sands China’s business. The leisure segment forms a larger proportion of business for the company, however, Boston indicated that they are focused on MICE as well. “In the leisure segment from India, we receive a lot of families, as Macao has various facilities and attractions for them, so families play a big role. But MICE is equally important for us, as India is becoming more global, more and more companies want to do meetings in Macao. We receive business from pharmaceutical, IT and other sectors. Meeting groups from India are larger in size and we have catered to a group of 2000 people. We also witness independent travellers, but MICE and leisure remain the focus for us,” she commented.