Why Macau’s numbers matter

Change is in the air again – certainly so in how meetings are organised in Asia. The latest figures from Macau government officials show MICE events are up in the second quarter of the year, but the number of visitors arriving for such activities is down.

In the first half of this year, 424 conferences and business events were held, up 45 from the previous year, but the number of participants and attendees fell by 19.6 per cent to 654,162.

However, of the 208 meetings and conferences in the second quarter of this year, the number of participants rose by 25.5 per cent to 21,215. The number of attendees at events with 200-plus participants rose by 14.5 per cent to 11,913 for the same period.

More on the figures down through the years can be found here, but overall they indicate Macau’s capability in handling events that are specialised with hints at changing delegate and attendee profile.

Thanks for sticking with me so far through the above statistics. They will be important for Asia-Pacific as the bridge linking Macau with neighbouring Zhuhai and Macau nears completion over the next year or so. Read more about the Pearl River Delta link here.

It will soon become more apparent that Asia will have a new MICE destination in 2017, when the 50km bridge is expected to be completed. If the efforts of management at the new Zhuhai International Convention & Exhibition Center and AsiaWorld-Expo on the Hong Kong side of the Pearl Delta come to fruition, then conferences and incentive organisers can use all three destinations as part of one event package.

The Pearl Delta bridge will also give access to the rest of Guangdong, bringing into play the provincial capital of Guangzhou and the economic marvel that is Shenzhen, which will be the topic of our Let’s Meet feature in the October-November issue of MIX.

The seabridge, Macau’s efforts to highlight its cultural heritage over casinos and other issues affecting the events industry will be under the spotlight at the 3rd International Conference on Events at the territory’s Institute for Tourism Studies.

Elsewhere on mixmeetings.com, Bill Barnett shares his thoughts on the bomb attack in Bangkok, which hit at the heart of a tourism landmark and Ratchaprasong, an area that has partnered with Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau to promote the city to international MICE group. We will be featuring Thailand in the next issue of MIX.

Staying with Southeast Asia, ITE 2015 HCMC gets under way next week in Vietnam. The show will highlight another delta region, this time the Mekong. Look out for MIX’s Marisa Cannon who will be one of the media at the Saigon Exhibition & Convention Centre.


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