Having welcomed 950M visitors, Sands China confident in Macao’s future

Sands Macao Celebrates 20 Years in Macao

A five-part series on the growth of Sands China since 2004

As the city’s first international integrated tourism and leisure enterprise, Sands China has been rooted in Macao for 20 years now, since the opening of Sands Macao in 2004. After introducing Las Vegas Sands’ successful integrated resort model to Macao – combining entertainment, retail, MICE, food & beverage, and accommodation all under one roof – the company continues to invest and actively contribute to the development of Macao into a world centre of tourism and leisure.

In May 2004, Sands Macao opened to great anticipation. Crowds of visitors flocked to the unprecedented grand event, symbolising the arrival of the golden age of Macao’s tourism industry and witnessing the history of Macao’s new gaming concessions. Under the “Sands Effect” triggered by the extraordinary success of Sands Macao, the number of tourists visiting Macao surged. The number of local integrated tourism and leisure enterprises also stepped up their development plans and bloomed, injecting strength into Macao’s economy.

The integrated resort model

Nowadays, 20 years later, Sands Macao attracts millions of tourists annually from all over the world. The opening of Sands Macao formed a foundation for Sands China’s integrated resorts on the Cotai Strip in the years that followed. In 2007, the first ever large-scale integrated resort, The Venetian Macao, successfully opened on the Cotai Strip, ushering Macao’s tourism development into a new chapter and completely altering the skyline of Cotai, where visitors can enjoy the romantic atmosphere of Europe in just one stop.

The Plaza Macao, consisting of the Four Seasons Hotel Macao; Sands Cotai Central (now transformed into The Londoner Macao); and The Parisian Macao opened one after another, forming an interconnected integrated resort city. Sands China’s properties currently offer over 12,000 rooms and suites, more than 150 dining outlets, and 150,000 square metres of meeting space, enhancing Macao’s capability to host all kinds of large-scale events and laying a solid foundation for the development of the MICE industry in the future. Moreover, the interconnected Shoppes at Venetian, Shoppes at Four Seasons, Shoppes at Parisian and Shoppes at Londoner constitute Sands Shoppes Macao – largest indoor shopping mall in Macao, boasting over 720 shops. Sands China has become the backbone of Macao’s moderate economic diversification with its outstanding facilities and services. 

Twenty years have passed, and Macao has evolved into a premier tourism and leisure destination in its own right. Today, the city boasts having the most Forbes-recognised five-star hotels worldwide, proudly holds the distinguished designation as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, and thrives as a bustling hub for world-class entertainment shows and MICE events. As the construction of the Greater Bay Area continues to progress, I’m confident Macao will capitalise on the new wave of development opportunities arising, and strive toward its goal of becoming a world centre of tourism and leisure

Grant Chum chief executive officer and executive director of Sands China Ltd.

Today, the group has realised Sheldon G. Adelson’s vision of the Cotai Strip as one of the world’s most spectacular leisure destinations. The late Chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp. saw Cotai’s enormous potential and invested in its development. To this date, Sands China’s five properties have accumulated over 950 million visitors since 2004 and the group has invested more than US$15 billion in Macao’s development into a world centre of tourism and leisure.

Introducing family elements, diversifying foreign customer base

The family-friendly element is key to attracting visitors to extend their stays in Macao. For this reason, Sands China actively adds and expands its family-friendly facilities, including at Londoner Court and the Grand Suites at Four Seasons, carefully curated with expansive space to meet our guests’ needs. The group also introduced facilities such as Qube, Macao’s first indoor kids play zone, and The Parisian Macao’s Aqua World, which have become weekend hotspots for many families. In addition, Sands China has brought outstanding performances from around the world, including ushering in unique themed performances at each resort, attracting tourists to make wonderful memories.

What’s more, Sands China is determined to leverage renowned art exhibitions to diversify its foreign customer base. This includes opening teamLab SuperNature Macao, an interactive art experience at The Venetian Macao, in May last year. This permanent exhibition is a “body immersive” art space centred around a group of artworks allows visitors to explore new perceptions of the world and the continuity between humans and nature. The long-awaited Harry Potter: The Exhibition premiered in Asia Pacific for the first time, opening at The Londoner Macao. The all-new, interactive touring exhibition is the most comprehensive exhibition ever presented on Harry Potter and the entire Wizarding World, appealing to a broad audience of all ages. The exhibition spans more than 2,700 square metres, with over 20 celebratory galleries – perfect for both hardcore fans and those just starting to experiencing the charm of the wizard world.

With these and other attractions, events, and facilities over the years – and more to come – Sands China is always at the forefront of bringing exciting experiences to Macao for its visitors and residents to enjoy.

What the industry leaders say

“Sands China has undoubtedly played a crucial role in promoting and enhancing Macao’s exhibition industry, bringing positive contributions to Macao by introducing its abundant exhibition experience. Over the past 20 years, Sands China has developed large conference and exhibition venues, and other supporting facilities in Macao, significantly increasing Macao’s capacity to host exhibitions and making it a destination capable of hosting large international MICE events. The introduction of these facilities has created more development opportunities for the local exhibition industry. Besides, Sands China has brought international exhibition management experience and standards, improving the overall service level and competitiveness of the industry. At the same time, as a globally renowned integrated resort operator, Sands China’s investment and development in Macao have further enhanced Macao’s reputation and attractiveness as an exhibition destination.”

Alan Ho, President of Macao Association of  Convention, Exhibition and Tourism Sectors

“Over the past 20 years, Sands China has played a pivotal role in enriching Macao’s non-gaming sector, particularly through the expansion of the retail industry. Their investment in large themed shopping malls has brought a diverse retail experience to Macao, catalyzing the growth of the retail sector, meeting the demand for varied goods, and creating employment opportunities for retail professionals. Additionally, their efforts have significantly contributed to the enhancement of Macao’s international reputation, attracting a greater influx of international brands seeking to invest and expand their businesses in the region. This, in turn, has attracted a rising number of domestic and foreign tourists, stimulating tourism and bolstering the local economy.”

Terry Sio, president of Macao International Brand Enterprise Commercial Association and Macau Rainbow Group


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