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Sands China aims for larger share of Indian outbound
Shekhar Niyogi, Kolkata, September 25, 2012


SANDS China is all set to secure 25 per cent of the Indian outbound market to China, Macau and Hong Kong, following the opening of the 3,896-key Sheraton Macao Cotai Central this month – the last of the three hotels in the company's latest Sands Cotai Central integrated development in Macau.


At the moment, Sands China’s The Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel enjoys 84 per cent of the overnight market share of Indians visiting Macau, an unprecedented record in the industry.


Brendon Elliott, vice president of sales & resort marketing, Sands China, said: “The company will continue to engage the Indian market to maintain and create demand. About 25,000 Indians visit The Venetian for meetings and incentives every year. I think it is a pretty healthy number, but we want to increase MICE visitors from India.”


To capture the Indian market, Sands China has taken a five-city road show to India earlier this month. Elliott added: “The Venetian has a dedicated Indian chef and a banqueting team to cater to all kinds of requirements in terms of food.”


The company is expecting stronger demand from the Indian leisure and meeting segments on the back of improvements in air connectivity. For instance, THAI Airways is scheduled to start its twice-daily Bangkok-Macau flights, which will provide Macau-bound connections for current services arriving from the Indian cities of Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.


Rajesh Sethi, managing director, Carnation Travel Services, said: “THAI’s operations will certainly open new segments of outbound tourists who were not going to Macau before. We will invest more time in marketing our Macau products in combination with Bangkok to more price-conscious travellers.”


The Macau Government Tourist Office is also talking to the Indian Civil Aviation Ministry about the possibility of operating direct flights to Macau on Indian carriers such as SpiceJet and IndiGo.



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