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Daily Archives: November 15, 2008

MGTO participates in World Travel Market 2008

The Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) attended the World Travel Market 2008 (WTM) in London to promote the SAR's tourism and its valuable World Heritage as well as to introduce MGTO’s newly appointed representative in the UK and Irish markets.
The three-day World Travel Market 2008 was held at ExCeL London until Thursday. In addition to the trade show, there were an array of forums, including the WTM ChinaContact 3rd Annual Forum on China's Tourism Industry, seminars, conferences, debates and cultural performances, providing participants with both a rare learning platform and key insight into future trends and innovations within the tourism industry.
Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, deputy director of MGTO, recently appointed Sue Whitehead as the representative in the UK and Irish markets, together with representatives from Macau's tourism industry joined the trade event in London.
MGTO set up a booth at the fair to promote Macau's World Heritage and to introduce business travel, culture and leisure travel of the SAR. The latest series of MGTO’s tourism promotional video, "Experience Macau" was shown at the booth to present the destination’s unique difference through the five senses, see, taste, feel, hear and touch.
In September, MGTO appointed Hume Whitehead Limited to reinforce its marketing efforts in the UK, covering Ireland for the first time.
MGTO said in a statement yesterday it believes that Hume Whitehead's extensive experience and contacts will enable MGTO to forge more direct and closer relationships with the travel trade in the region, to respond more efficiently to market demand as well as to put Macau firmly on the map with UK and Irish consumers.
Since 2006, Pacific Asia Travel Association has organised at the House of Commons at the Palace of Westminster a keynote dinner during WTM, which was sponsored for the third consecutive year by the Macau Government Tourist Office.
A wide spectrum of UK companies and associations from the travel sector were invited to join the dinner on November 10 whereby MGTO's officials and trade partners had the chance to meet top-level guests of the UK and the Pacific Asia travel sector. It was also an opportunity to uplift Macau's profile and showcase the destination.
WTM, one of the biggest travel fairs in the world held every year in London, brings together worldwide buyers and sellers from around the world. Last year, it attracted 48,111 travel industry professionals representing over 197 countries or regions.
The United Kingdom is the one of Macau’s major European source markets, with 78,000 visitors last year, a growth of 36.5 per cent. For the first three quarters of this year, the market maintained its growth momentum with close to 60,000 arrivals, an increase of 11.5 per cent from same period last year.

Melco Crown quarterly loss narrows on Macau junkets

Melco Crown Entertainment yesterday announced its third-quarter loss narrowed on more business from high-roller gamblers, with the net loss shrinking to 21.1 million US dollars from a loss of 45.2 million US dollars, a year earlier, while net revenue more than doubled to 295.2 million US dollars.
Bloomberg yesterday reported four analysts surveyed expected an average loss excluding some items of 1.6 cents a share, on revenue of 332.5 million US dollars.
Lawrence Ho and James Packer overhauled their Crown Macau casino resort last year, doing a deal with junket operators to focus on VIP players, mostly from the mainland, who spend at least one million patacas per visit.
The VIP strategy, coming before this year's global financial crisis, handed Melco Crown 15 percent of Macau's casino market, the report said.
“Our outlook for the Macau market remains strong and we are confident that City of Dreams will set a new standard for casino development in Macau,” chief executive officer Lawrence Ho said in the statement.
Melco Crown is developing the 2.1 billion US dollar resort casino City of Dreams and plans a third Macau casino property, Trinity. The company said it had about 886 million US dollars in cash at the end of the third quarter and had un-drawn credit facilities available of 764 million US dollars.
“Phases I and II of City of Dreams are fully funded and the project remains on timetable to open Phase I in the first half of next year,” he continued.
“Our outlook for the Macau market remains strong and we are confident that City of Dreams will set a new standard for casino development in Macau.”
Meanwhile, Lawrence Ho said on a conference call with investors that he's taken a salary reduction of 35 per cent as part of a plan to save 25 million US dollars annually.
Crown Macau held 2.6 per cent of the rolling chips gambled in the quarter, less than the 2.7 per cent it had in the second quarter, however, the target is 2.85 percent, the company said.
Macau's casino revenue growth slowed in the second and third quarters, the first deceleration in at least three years amid a worsening of the credit crisis and measures by the Chinese government to restrict its citizens' travel to the city.
Las Vegas Sands Corp, run by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, said on Monday it's suspending construction in the SAR to conserve cash after a third-quarter loss amid slowing growth.
The company has said it will get a 525 million US dollar investment from Adelson's family and that it plans to raise 1.62 billion US dollars more by selling shares.
Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah said on Tuesday the average monthly revenue at casinos is expected to fall to 7 billion patacas next year from 8.2 billion so far this year.