The Star CEO wants larger share of Chinese tourist dollar

Casino executive Matt Bekier says The Star will be doubling its efforts to attract the lucrative Chinese tourist, reports local media.

“The typical Chinese visitor to Australia spends about $8000 [on their trip],” Bekier told The Australian Financial Review. “Twenty five per cent of them find their way to one of our casinos and on average they spend about $150, so out of that big wallet, we only get a very small proportion … It should be double digits.”

The chief executive of Star Entertainment said Chinese visitors spent $8.9 billion in Australia in the year to June 2016.

“It’s a very attractive customer … the big lever is to change the $150 into a bigger number and for that we need hotel rooms,” Bekier said.

Bekier, in an interview with The Australian, said the company planned to achieve this in three ways: “clean house”, “build muscle” and “change the game”.

“Clean house” meant making sure the company could grow profitability.

“In previous years we had grown the size of the business but we had not grown earnings,” he said.

Build muscle involved marketing and fueling growth.

“We are probably 50 per cent through the potential of cleaning house and 25 per cent through our building muscle potential but we are now at the point of thinking about innovation and changing the game,” he said.

“There are different avenues (for changing the game) and for some it’s about acquisitions and online. For us it is all about the tourism story and re-positioning our properties as vessels to receive that tourism flow,” he added.