One of the key questions for the coming year regards how quickly we can expect tourism to recover in the Asia-Pacific region as the Covid-19 pandemic is presumably brought under control. This is the key theme of our latest podcast. We pose this difficult question to Gary Bowerman, tourism industry analyst and director of Check in Asia. Our two current affairs articles both relate to companies and officials who would very much like to know these answers themselves. In Macau, Sands China is set to test the “if you build it they will come” adage with a February opening. And out on the island of Tinian, the local mayor is also trying to reopen the doors to tourist arrivals by February. Finally, we have an article contributed by Brendan Bussmann of GMA on the question of whether or not the disruption caused by the pandemic will set off a round of M&A moves in the gaming industry.
First, the news
- Sands China to test market with The Londoner opening
- Macau regulators see deterioration in Covid era AML controls
- Landing International chairman under Chinese regulators’ investigation
- Wynn Macau announces issuance of US$750 million in notes
- Tinian eyes return of casino industry
- Genting shares upgraded to buy by Maybank
- Lotto NZ has record year as online sales double
- Casinos tipped for bumper year in 2021
- Paradise Co. closes Walker Hill due to Covid-19 spread
- Silver Heritage shareholders pass resolutions on share issues
- Two defendants receive prison sentences in Japan casino bribery case
What you need to know
Sands China is set to test the “if you build it they will come” adage in Macau in February, with the phased opening of The Londoner resort in the first quarter. The $2 billion property is a revamp of Sands Cotai to incorporate British history and culture, adding to Sands’ French and Italian-themed offerings already operating in Macau — The Parisian and the Venetian. The company will hold an official ceremony in early February 2021, just as China enters the New Year of the Ox.
The authorities on Tinian, the second-largest island of the CNMI, are eyeing a return of the casino industry a half-decade after the suspension of operations at Tinian Dynasty. Tinian Mayor Edwin Aldan is now engaging with Governor Ralph DLG Torrres’ Covid-19 Task Force on strategies for accepting tourists back to the island, hoping for results as early as a local festival in February. Aside from a couple of new hotels, this island with a population of only 3,100 people is also expected to see the opening of the Tinian Diamond Casino next spring or summer. The precise date remains unclear, and the anticipated timeline has already slipped backwards several times.
Gary Bowerman, tourism industry analyst and director of Check-in Asia, speaks with Asia Gaming Brief managing editor Sharon Singleton about prospects for tourism recovery in 2021, how governments are seeking to boost domestic travel to plug the gaps and the challenges of getting regional airlines flying again.
BY THE NUMB3RS
As the world begins to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic and economies start to reopen, there may be room for a reshaping of the global casino industry through mergers and acquisitions and reshuffling of shuttered assets. Throughout the crisis, the gaming, hospitality, and tourism industries have likely been hit the hardest and will have some of the greatest challenges in recovery depending on the region of the world. This chaos may lead to opportunity, writes Global Market Advisors partner and director Brendan D. Bussmann.