Macau MICE Market Set To Soar To New Heights

Ever-changing Macau is set to see a dramatic increase in the number of conferences, exhibitions, meetings and incentives as new quality hotels, entertainment precincts and shopping plazas open their doors in 2012.

The major Asian centre will move ahead this year with the unveiling of a massive Cotai Central project, providing an extra 5800 hotel rooms and suites and a staggering 600 stores.

The unveiling will come hot on the heels of last year's opening of the spectacular Galaxy precinct.

Overall tourist numbers to Macau soared past the 28 million mark for the first time in 2011, easily overshadowing its 560,000 population, and eclipsing the previous year's record arrivals by a staggering 12.2 per cent.

Success was partly attributed to stimulation programs which will continue until the end of 2012, these initiatives by the Macau Economic Services and Macau Government Tourist Office supporting the development of business tourism.

Close to 25 million of the overall visitors to Macau were from the greater China region, a growth of 13.5 per cent. International visitors rose by 2.2 per cent to more than 3 million, representing 10.9 per cent of the total arrivals. The increase in international guests has been so dramatic that in 1999, when Macau was established as a Special Administrative Region (SAR), about 580,000 arrived, 7.8 per cent of the total arrivals.

In the first three quarters of 2011, the total visitor expenditure hit more than $A25.3 billion, a massive rise of 33.5 per cent over the same period in 2010. Per-capita spending in the third quarter of 2011 reached about $A204, a surge of 6.8 per cent.

The average occupancy rate of Macau's hotels and guesthouses in the first 10 months was 83 per cent, increased by 4.3 percentage points.

The average room rate for 3- to 5-star hotels in the first 11 months surged by 14.8 per cent, reaching around $A167. Total number of occupied rooms from January to October, 2011, was 5.36 million, a rise of 14.9 per cent.

Macau today boasts 65 hotels and 32 guesthouses, providing 23,222 rooms (guesthouses and 2- to 5-star deluxe hotels).

Australia and New Zealand are ranked in the top five nations for length of stay in Macau, around 2.7 and 3.04 nights respectively in 2011.

The Stimulation Programs

The development of Macau as a genuine destination for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions has been partly attributed to the success of the Strategic MICE Market Stimulation Program launched by MGTO in May, 2009.

Since its inception in May 2009, the program has assisted some 168 incentive travels, 127 meetings/conferences and 83 exhibitions, involving 2.16 million delegates.

Starting in 2012, in order to focus on the development of incentive travel markets, the Macau Government Tourist Office has initiated an Incentive Travel Stimulation Program for 2012. While the Macao Economic Services offers a Convention and Exhibition Stimulation Program that aims to provide assistance and support to organizers and planners of conventions and exhibitions held in Macau.

Beneficiary and scope of the Incentive Travel Stimulation Program include event owners, organisers and/or planners of incentive travel to be held in Macau, incentive activities, team building activities, award dinner and local transport companies.

The incentive group should have a minimum of 50 non-Macau participants with at least two consecutive nights of stay in a Macau hotel. A maximum support of MOP$300 (about $A35) will be granted on actual consumption per non-Macau participant for their incentive activity in Macau.

Applicants who are qualified for the program must meet relevant requirements such as the program is only applicable to events that are confirmed by December 31, 2012 with proof of booking submitted to MGTO by means of signed documentation or contract and receipt of deposit.

Details of the Incentive Travel Stimulation Program is available at MGTO's website

About The Convention and Exhibition Stimulation Program of Macao Economic Services:

Prepared by: Mike Smith, Public Relations Manager, Macau Government Tourist Office (Australia and New Zealand).


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