It is impossible for the Macau SAR not to face over-tourism due to the region’s limited land area, stated Daisy Ho, chairman and executive director of SJM Holdings Ltd, at the opening of G2E Asia yesterday.
Speaking on “Asian markets perspectives: opportunities and threats,” the executive saw a significant number of growing opportunities for the region, citing the improvement of the city’s infrastructure.
Ho, who replaced her father Stanley Ho as chairman of the flagship casino company, called for over-tourism to be avoided and moving the customer base up-market, adding that the SAR should increase its lodging capacity to accommodate the increasing number of visitors.
Ho said over-tourism remains a growing challenge for the city, recalling that the 40 million tourists expected this year was previously considered the city’s former maximum carrying capacity.
The chairman of the gaming operator also called on the region to continually enhance its local infrastructure, add more non-gaming attractions and develop local human resources to keep up with leadership opportunities.
Meanwhile, Ho stressed that the Greater Bay Area development plan required “critical growth” in education and training to prepare for future human resource needs.
“If Macau’s hospitality industry adequately meets this challenge and […] the Greater Bay Area [project] is globalized, there will be greater opportunities for Macau,” said Ho.
Ho added that the integration with the national development plan, the liberalization of a multi-cultural trade and greater connectivity “promises significant long-term opportunities.”
“It is time to seize them and move ahead,” said Ho.
“It is certain that SJM and STDM [Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau] will lead the challenge,” she assured.
Ho also presented the offerings of the Grand Lisboa Palace, which is currently under-construction and set to boost the city’s hotel rooms to a total of 42,000.
Meanwhile, the 13th Global Gaming Expo Asia kicked off with nearly 200 exhibitors.
The annual exhibition expects to welcome some 18,000 visitors from major gaming operators around the globe.
Today’s conference will highlight the effects of technology on the customer experience landscape, including how to develop unified analytics platforms to improve the customer experience.
The Financial Technology Forum will also present technological developments in digital payments and financial security, as well as blockchain and gaming technology.
Yesterday also marked the opening of the first ArtBiz Forum, which focuses on the importance of art and culture in the development of integrated resorts and its impact on various travel destinations in Asia.
The focus of the forum was on the role of art in integrated resort development, inviting architect Carlos Marreiros and artist Konstantin Bessmertny.
The forum will also cover the range of art business matters, focusing on art tourism, public art, art investment and collection, commercial space with art elements and the creative development of various platforms of the art industry, amongst other topics.