Macau needs better branding, tourism planning for successful transition

Macau, whose meteoric success was fueled by the high-spending VIP gambler, needs to improve its branding and tourism planning if it is to transform to a majority non-gaming model and replace income from the missing high rollers. While the mass market gambler is more profitable for the casino in terms of margin than the VIP counterpart, it still requires between 6.25 and 12.5 grind mass bodies to replace one VIP, according to CLSA estimates. It takes 3.75 grind mass players to replace one premium mass customer. The average visitor is also likely to spend less and doesn’t have the same amount of money to splash on Macau’s luxury retail outlets and five-star hotels. Add to that government plans to cap the number of Chinese tourists entering at 21 million and it’s hard to see how the territory will shift to a mass market, majority non-gaming destination, and generate sufficient volume to...

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