Hotels in the historic Macau Peninsula strive towards the success seen in the buzzier Cotai
With newer developments raising the profile of Macau’s Cotai Strip since 2007, hotels in the Macau Peninsula are determined to not be left behind.
According to China Travel Service (Macao), travel department sales and marketing manager, Pun Cheng-man, hotel rates are lower in the peninsula, which is dominated by old hotels. During the low season, it’s typical to see weekday hotel rates in Cotai priced at MOP$900 (US$112), compared to MOP$600-700 in the Peninsula.
The two areas are generally non-competing, pointed out Crowne Plaza Macau’s sales director, Benedict Wu, with Cotai Strip hotels focused on casino guests.
However, hotel operators in the peninsula are impacted when the casino market softens and Cotai hotels lower their rates.
“To stay competitive, we are developing different markets instead of relying on the mainland Chinese. Since we are a non-casino hotel with a big ballroom, MICE and corporate clients are important to us.”
Artyzen Hospitality Group, vice president of Macau operations and Grand Lapa general manager, Rutger Verschuren, said: “We have to fight harder due to the limited marketing funds and other resources available compared with the more recent products and facilities in Cotai.”
However, he stressed that this is a healthy driving force as both areas appeal to different segments. “No hotel or destination can attract all markets. We are each (complementary).
“Cotai is more attractive to the mass market and ideal for huge MICE groups, but not all people are attracted to mega resorts where gaming facilities play a major role,” he elaborated. On the other hand, the Macau Peninsula targets more families, corporate guests, educational, government officials and diplomats, or simply those who prefer to be closer to local experiences.
Verschuren thinks a collaborative branding effort could lift the Macau Peninsula back into the limelight. His idea is to brand the Avenida da Amizade – the peninsula’s equivalent to the Cotai Strip – as the Friendship Road.
The avenue has lots to leverage on for this branding effort. It the longest avenue in Macau where hotels and attractions are concentrated. Avenida da Amizade spreads from near the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao bridge arrival terminal and Macau Ferry Terminal all the way to Grand Lisboa, next to a UNESCO heritage area and Macau’s famous walking streets and department stores, Verschuren explained.
He added: “I hope to drive a campaign with other properties to brand this strip in the peninsula as ‘The Friendship Road’ or ‘The Friendship Mile’. By uniting businesses along this strip, we can boost the identity of the peninsula.”