Macau could see 32 million visitors enter the number one casino business location in 2012. Union Gaming Research made the projection in a research note quoted by Macau Business with analysts Grant Govertsen and Felicity Chiang admitting they expect visitor numbers to rise by 10 to 15 percent this year. The note added that they “expect high-margin mass market gross gaming revenue to grow at a rate that is more than double the rate of visitation growth”. The visitation figures are backed up by an increase of 8.3 percent in the first two months of the year as visitors hit 4.6 million.
Melco Crown Entertainment are not feeling threatened ahead of the opening of Sands Cotai Central next month. A Credit Suisse note from analyst Gabriel Chan states the casino development company sees it as an opportunity to bolster their position in the Macau market. They sound optimistic that it will bring more business their way on the Cotai strip. If you compare the situation to the opening of Galaxy Macau last year this could be misplaced confidence as Galaxy saw big gains off the back of their own new venue. Chan added that Melco Crown’s strategy includes “focusing on increased table utilization”, “better performing junkets”, and “the premium mass-market segment”.
Macau tourist chiefs are attempting to attract more Russian investors and visitors to the enclave. The Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) has promoted Macau at two Russian travel and tourism fairs in the past few weeks with a booth under the name “Touching Moments – Experience Macau”. Russian visitors to Macau have been rising steadily with a 41 percent increase in 2011 and a 98 percent rise in January and February. MGTO just better make sure the standard of vodka is to their taste.