MGS Entertainment Show | Academic: Brand loyalty key to gambling industry recovery

A post-pandemic mode of consumption, in which consumers reach for familiar brands, will have an impact on Macau’s gambling industry, said Dr. Edmund Loi, associate professor of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Macao Polytechnic Institute at an online summit.
He said that consumers will become further attached to large and familiar brands to which they are already attached or can otherwise relate.
The pandemic has also transformed people’s interests or careers, Loi said, noting that many people had started practicing cookery or painting skills in lockdown, thus becoming better cooks and painters.
These conditions, according to the academic, have facilitated the transformation of consumption habits. Consumers now prioritize emotional factors when choosing a brand.
When this approach is applied to the tourism and leisure industry, tourists will consider and make decisions about going to places they can relate to, which inspire them, or which may provoke other feelings.
In addition, safety is another factor in tourists’ preferences, Loi said.
Loi said that the transformation of consumer habits is irreversible. Although physical interaction and in-person shopping may return in the short term, in his view people will persist with online shopping in the long term.
Despite this, he believes that physical interaction will ultimately return, because some industries will not continue working virtually for an extended period of time.
Discussing the projected recovery of Macau’s economy, which has been said to be highly, if not overly, reliant on the tourism and gambling industries, the academic was confident, citing modeling from ITB China projecting that after the Covid-19 pandemic, the travel spending of Chinese families will fall between USD700 and USD2,800 per year.
Moreover, the ITB data also shows that travel agencies in mainland China expect infection control measures to be the most important factor when tourists make decisions prior to travel.
Macau’s effort to diversify tourism products will also be attractive to tourists. The impact is not just regional but also international. The diversification will involve the development of non-gambling elements, so the gradual addition of other tourism choices will attract more visitors.
The academic added that, to further improve Macau’s tourism industry, other factors should be taken into consideration as well. These include healthcare, gastronomy, sports and culture, among others.
Loi also believes there will be more Covid-19 vaccines available as many countries are researching their own jabs, while several pharmaceutical companies have already started testing new medicines to treat Covid-19.

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