Macau saw a 62 percent spike in MICE visitation in the first quarter, helped by government subsidies, though the territory still faces considerable hurdles to reach its full potential as an events and exhibitions destination.
Macau has lost out to regional rivals due to a lack of hotel capacity, limited venues, poor transport links and a branding problem. These problems are gradually being addressed but progress is slow.
“We haven’t been able to make a shift of Macau’s brand image from a gaming destination. We have made small, incremental shifts, but I don’t think we’ve made a fundamental leap, what we would need to do to bring in any substantial type of MICE industry,” says Glenn McCartney, associate professor in International Integrated Resort Management at the University of Macau.
“We have to think about, what is the message of the Cotai Strip, the destination. And we haven’t got it yet,” he added,...