Chinese gamblers are the bread and butter of gaming revenue right now, and Okada Manila has came up with a new strategy to pull them in. Universal Entertainment Corp, operator of the casino, has signed a letter of intent with the Chinese travel agency CTS Shanghai Zohngqiao International Travel Service Co Ltd to offer package tours.
GGRAsia reports Universal made the announcement at the Jasdaq Securities Exchange on January 24. Universal said, “The company and CTS Shanghai Zhongqiao International Travel Service Co. Ltd will commence the discussion on efforts to plan and develop sightseeing tour packages for attracting tourists to the Philippines in the Chinese market.”
The state-operated travel agency is one of the three largest in the People’s Republic of China. It actually consists of 100 smaller agencies and vocational schools, and arranges travel domestically as well as internationally. They cater to budget and mid-market travelers.
Okada Manila will be hoping that however much money they have, they’ll spend some of it in their resort. They hope that this deal “would serve to expand tourism business in the Republic of the Philippines, attract tourists from overseas to the Okada Manila integrated resort operated by the company group in Manila, the Philippines, and so forth.”
This comes after a tough year for Universal. In December, they revised their 2018 financial forecast, reducing their expected net sales by 37.8%. In the Philippines, they’ve also had the drama of their former chairman Kazuo Okada’s legal battles consuming the news, which with his name on the casino, has to hurt the performance of the operation.
They are hoping continued investment in Okada Manila starts to pay off. In December, they took on another $600 million in debt to continue construction of the integrated resort. This money will likely go towards expanding all parts of the resort. With a potential Chinese tourist deal on the way, we know who Universal hopes fills that newly constructed space.