SAYONI BHADURI – Mumbai
Sands China, the developer of Venetian Macao and the recently launched Sands Cotai Central, has declared their third project on Macao’s Cotai Strip. Brendon Elliott, vice president Sales and Resort Marketing, Sands China informed, “We are also preparing parcel three land for development. This project will be ready by 2016.” Maintaining the suspense about the details of the project he said that the project will be another themed hotel which will compliment the Venetian Macao. “This will be a mid scale project and at the completion of which Cotai Strip will have 15000 rooms,” he added.
Sands China earlier this year opened Sands Cotai Central on the Cotai Strip Holiday Inn and Conrad and recently the Sheraton. This development is part of the third phase of development and will see the construction of the fourth tower but that has been put on the back burner with the development of parcel three land coming up. He added, “The construction of the fourth tower hotel of Sands Cotai Central will begin in the first quarter of 2013; we have zeroed in on St Regis brand for that.” This new tower will house 2000 additional rooms.
Discussing growth and development of Sands Cotai Central Elliott said, “We have exceeded all our expectations. Occupancies at the Conrad are in the high 80s and at the Holiday Inn at high 90s. Not many hotels open to such a fan fare so it is great.” They also introduced the second phase which includes the launch of Sheraton, 100 retail units and the Pacifica casino.
The business from India however still is for Venetian Macao. “We see as many as 450 Indians every day at the Venetian Macao,” Elliott said. He added that Venetian Macao is not an entry market product, currently they receive mid and high end guests from India together with large corporations and incentive groups. “The growth of Sands Cotai Cental is not India centric. The market has not grapsed the potential of Sands Cotai Central yet, Venetian Macao still is the dominant force.”
The new strategy of growth for Sands China is to promote Macao as an extension to Bangkok. “Thai Airways has direct flight to Macao from Bangkok. People flying from Bangkok can directly land into Macao and not transit via Hong Kong, which gives us a great opportunity,” explained Elliott. China is the biggest market, India is number four and Indonesia is sixth.