G2E Asia Emphasizes Non-Gaming

G2E Asia returned to Macau last week, convening for three days at the Venetian Macao in Cotai. The event showcased non-gaming offerings meant to draw greater international tourism to Asian markets.

G2E Asia Emphasizes Non-Gaming

G2E Asia returned to Macau last week, bringing with it the first-ever Asian IR Expo. More than 5,000 people were expected to attend the show, held July 11-13 at the Venetian Macao in the city’s Cotai district.

The agenda showcased products and solutions for the gaming, entertainment, travel, art, technology, sports and esports industries. Speakers talked about regulations for Asian integrated resorts as well as future challenges and opportunities in the region.

The keynote speakers were Dr. Wilfred Wong, president and executive director of Sands China, and Alejandro Tengco, chairman and CEO of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR). Other speakers included Alidad Tash, founder and managing director of 2NT8 Ltd.; Chen Si, chief operating officer of the Mohegan Inspire Entertainment Resort in South Korea; Ed Bowers, president of global development for MGM Resorts International; Hubert Wang, president and COO of MGM China; and Kenneth Fong, managing director of Credit Suisse.
Topics included ; the transition from VIP to mass gaming; travel trends in the post-pandemic era; cultural and health-related tourism; arts and entertainment; and innovations around sports and esports.

According to Yahoo Finance, the event paid greater attention to non-gaming amenities, in line with the Macau government’s imperative to diversify the local economy beyond gaming. More than 100 exhibiting companies attended G2E Asia, which followed an introductory session in Singapore.

In other Macau news, the city’s tourism director, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, has disclosed that hotel occupancy reached 89 percent on a recent weekend as 100,000 visitors arrived each day. Weekdays also saw robust visitation, with an average of 80,000 arrivals per day. Based on early statistics, 11.6 million inbound people visited Macau in the first half of 2023. By contrast, 2019 saw only 39.4 million arrivals for the whole year, and just 5.7 million travelers entered the city in the first half of 2022.

“The number of Mainland visitors to Macau has returned to 60 percent of the pre-epidemic level and Hong Kong visitors to 90 percent, while the overseas market has only returned to 20 percent,” Fernandes said. She said global tourism to Macau continues to be hampered by a lack of air routes, and added that the city needs to promote the diverse options for tourists who come to the Chinese special administrative region.

“The supply of hotel rooms has increased by 5,000 rooms compared to the pre-epidemic period, and now stands at 47,000 hotel rooms, with a lot of new tourism facilities being added to Macau’s integrated resorts,” Fernandes said.

She acknowledged that “there is still a shortage of manpower in the face of the peak season of tourists, and the government will work together with the industry to solve the manpower problem.”