Di­ver­sity the key to success

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By WU YIYAO in Shang­hai wuyiyao@chi­nadaily.com.cn

De­spite the head­winds cre­ated by the global eco­nomic cooldown, the ho­tels un­der Hong Kong- listed Gal­axy En­ter­tain­ment Group (GEG) in Ma­cao have nev­er­the­less re­mained packed with tourists, and one of the rea­sons for this is the wide range of leisure of­fer­ings by the group.

Ac­cord­ing to Kevin Clay­ton, the Chief Mar­ket­ing Of­fi­cer of GEG, prod­uct di­ver­sity has al­ways been a key ele­ment in the com­pany’s ap­proach to prod­uct de­vel­op­ment and cus­tomer re­ten­tion. This is ev­i­denced by how GEG — it is one of the main casino op­er­a­tors in the re­gion — has in the past few years spent more than HK$43 bil­lion ($5.5 bil­lion) to ex­pand its fa­cil­i­ties and de­velop non-gam­ing of­fer­ings such as mu­sic per­for­mances, food courts and lux­ury shop­ping malls to meet fast-chang­ing con­sumer de­mands.

As part of ef­forts to ex­pand its of­fer­ings to the masses, the group opened Broad­way Ma­cau in May 2015. Po­si­tioned as a fam­ily-friendly, mass­mar­ket fo­cused es­tab­lish­ment in­stead of high-roller won­der­land, Broad­way Ma­cau stands out from the com­pe­ti­tion be­cause of its wide se­lec­tion of en­ter­tain­ment and hawk­er­style food stalls that pay homage to the tra­di­tional Ma­cao street mar­kets.

Be­sides Broad­way Ma­cau, GEG also op­er­ates Gal­axy Ma­cau and StarWorld Ma­cau, an award-win­ning five-star ho­tel.

GEG, one of the largest Asian in­te­grated re­sorts com­pany in the world, can also be con­sid­ered a mar­ket leader in Ma­cao, ac­count­ing for more than 15 per­cent of the re­gion’s over­all tourism mar­ket share, ac­cord­ing to re­search by Founders Se­cu­ri­ties.

“I’ve been very hon­ored and priv­i­leged to have done my part in open­ing three new re­sorts in Ma­cao as th­ese op­por­tu­ni­ties don’t come around too of­ten in other mar­kets,” said Clay­ton, a veteran in the hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor with over 31 years of cor­po­rate and con­sult­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Also, over the past decade, the in­creas­ing fo­cus on mass cus­tomer ac­qui­si­tion and re­ten­tion has seen a lot of hard work go into our prod­ucts like the Sands Re­wards Club and Gal­axy Priv­i­lege Club, which have been well-re­ceived.”

The group’s strat­egy to di­ver­sify its of­fer­ings mir­rors Ma­cao’s cur­rent tran­si­tion from a place that used to be all about casi­nos into one that has em­braced en­ter­tain­ment and mass con­sump­tion, much like its Amer­i­can coun­ter­part Las Ve­gas. Ac­cord­ing to the re­search by No­mura Se­cu­ri­ties, the per­cent­age of the Ma­cao’s tourism in­come that comes from restau­rants, re­tail­ers and ticket sales of shows and parks has been in­creas­ing over the years.

“Las Ve­gas has been sell­ing its non-gam­ing fa­cil­i­ties and ex­pe­ri­ences for many years, and Ma­cao is in its in­fancy. While its his­tor­i­cal rep­u­ta­tion was gam­ing-cen­tric, it could be ar­gued that Ma­cao al­ready has prod­ucts and ser­vices that many tourists de­sire,” said Clay­ton.

He noted that Ma­cao’s di­ver­sity of restau­rants that cover all price points and cuisines, the wide se­lec­tion of world-class ho­tels, the grow­ing num­bers of pre­mium en­ter­tain­ment and re­sort at­trac­tions, as well as the pres­ence of ma­jor lux­ury brands are all proof of the city’s ef­forts to en­gage tourists.

Ac­cord­ing to Clay­ton, the vi­brant din­ing scene is one of the key rea­sons why peo­ple are flock­ing to visit and live in the city. GEG’s prop­er­ties in Ma­cao host more than 120 restau­rants, in­clud­ing 23 that are listed in the Miche­lin Guide Hong Kong Ma­cau 2017.

“I may be a lit­tle bias here but where else can you ac­cess the very best Chi­nese, Ja­panese, Thai and broader Asian cuisines at all price points? The growth of bou­tique cof­fee shops in Ma­cao is also par­tic­u­larly pleas­ing, and they have been in­creas­ing in so­phis­ti­ca­tion and prod­uct qual­ity,” said Clay­ton.

“Peo­ple can have great cof­fee in a ca­sual din­ing en­vi­ron­ment at Cha Bei in Gal­axy Ma­cau, while the Broad­way Ma­cau food street of­fers al­fresco din­ing and beer places. If you are look­ing to have that spe­cial din­ing oc­ca­sion, then in my opin­ion look no fur­ther than the two-star Miche­lin res­tau­rant Feng Wei Ju in StarWorld on the penin­sula,” he said.

One of the key rea­sons be­hind GEG’s success in Ma­cao, said Clay­ton, is not sim­ply fo­cus­ing on gain­ing more mar­ket share, but be­ing ea­ger to lis­ten to cus­tomers and quickly evolve to de­liver new-age prod­ucts and ser­vices.

“Ma­cao is within close prox­im­ity of one of the largest out­bound and do­mes­tic tourism mar­kets in the world, with com­pe­ti­tion in­creas­ing from Asia Pa­cific and in­ter­na­tional des­ti­na­tions in Europe, the US and South Amer­ica. The chal­lenges faced here are in­creas­ing aware­ness, rel­e­vancy and ac­cess across a bur­geon­ing tourist mar­ket,” said Clay­ton.

“As con­sumers be­come more so­phis­ti­cated and there­fore more dis­cern­ing, com­pe­ti­tion for share of time and wal­let will in­crease. Ma­cao and each of the in­te­grated re­sorts must re­main fresh, at­trac­tive and renowned for de­liv­er­ing the very best ser­vice.”

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Kevin Clay­ton, Chief Mar­ket­ing Of­fi­cer of GEG. Kevin Clay­ton,

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