Macau wants to correct Australian buyers’ destination perception

THE Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) had put forth a strong showing at AIME 2016 earlier this week in Melbourne in an effort to correct Australian buyers’ perception of the Chinese destination as one that is strong only in gaming.

IPIM, which is responsible for marketing Macau, almost doubled the number of exhibitors on its stand from the previous year.

Mike Williams, senior partner at GainingEdge who is assisting IPIM with its MICE strategy, said the organisation is working on consolidating Macau’s product offering.

“The big job is to demonstrate the diversity of products in Macau and that Macau is heading off in a new direction,” said Williams, adding that high-end incentives in particular are on IPIM’s radar.

“When you’ve got Michelin-star rated restaurants and most of the major hotel brands present in Macau, (the destination) is much more appealing to the international (MICE) market than it was 10 years ago,” he said.

The bulk of Australian MICE business to Macau has so far been incentives, according to Williams, and IPIM intends to establish Macau as a platform for associations wanting to take their meetings offshore where they do not need a local host.

The destination saw a huge improvement in its ICCA rankings from 2013 to 2014, moving 55 places up to the 101st position.

Executive director of IPIM, Irene Va Kuan Lau, said: “We have to showcase Macau not only in Asia and Europe, but Australia too, as it is one of the most important source markets.”

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