SEOUL US-based Sands expressed interest in increasing its presence in Asia, particularly in South Korea.
Speaking at the Seoul MICE Forum 2012 (SMF) organised by the Seoul Tourism Organization, George Tanasijevich, president and chief executive of Marina Bay Sands (MBS) in Singapore, revealed that they are looking into expanding in Asia, and have a keen eye trained on Seoul, South Korea.
“Korea is a much bigger country [than Singapore] with many more features and attractions, which means it has tremendous potential that could be benefitted from by an integrated resort…The opportunity to do something with the KTO [Korean Tourism Organization] is something that we would really like to explore,” said Tanasijevich.
Reacting to this statement, Jeffrey Jones, chairman of the Advisory Board of Korea Tourism Organization, USA, agreed that there is a huge business opportunity in having an integrated resort in the country: “If we had these kinds of facilities Korea would really be a leader in the MICE industry, I truly believe that.”
Besides South Korea, Tanasijevich added that they are looking at other prospective Asian locations such as Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan and Thailand.
Meanwhile, the MBS head also announced that a bid has been made to expand the Singapore property just two years after its opening on April 2010.
“We are actually running out of space so we are currently in the process of urging the government to release more space so we can build an expansion to Marina Bay Sands, we would love to build another 1,000 plus hotel rooms and make more meeting space because we are reaching saturation point in both those areas and we want to continue to drive more business.”
Tanasijevich revealed that in the year after Marina Bay Sands opened, tourism to Singapore shot up 20 per cent and the economy expanded by 15 per cent. It also boosted the country's profile as a business events destination, since the new attractions have cultivated business events that were previously not held in Singapore, he said.
The success has been so profound, that they already want to expand, he added.
Outside of Singapore, Sands' presence in Asia is concentrated in Macau, where it has four properties, including Venetian Macau, Sands Cotai Central Macau, Four Seasons Hotel Macau, Sands Macau.
For more information about Sands, visit http://sands.com/
For more information about the Seoul Mice Forum 2012, visit www.koreamice.kr/eng/eng_index.asp