Investing in non-gaming tourism is “not necessarily a problem” and in fact will help gaming concessionaires “explore what is still a huge potential market”, says SJM executive director Daisy Ho.
In written answers to questions from the Portuguese news agency Lusa, Ho said non-gaming tourism in Macao was expected to “grow faster than the gaming segment due to regulatory policy and market dynamics”.
Ho added that SJM’s forays into tourism that was unrelated to gaming would also involve “the promotion of more exchanges between Portugal and Macau”, namely “bringing cultural performances and artistic exhibitions to Macao”.
Under the terms of their current 10-year agreements with the government, Macao’s six gaming concessionaires must invest heavily in non-gaming attractions and amenities in order to lure a greater diversity of visitors and help the territory reduce its heavy dependence on the mainland Chinese gaming market.
SJM will spend more than 14 billion patacas over the course of its concession, of which 12 billion patacas will be invested in projects outside its casinos.
According to Lusa, SJM plans to revitalise the Porto Interior area and Avenida Almeida Ribeiro, in the historic centre of Macao, as well as host major sporting events and build retail and cultural facilities.