Macau struggles to offset COVID-19 losses

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Macau struggles to offset COVID-19 losses

By Violeta Prockyte

Despite the global shutdowns, Las Vegas Sands Corp is forging ahead with plans to complete the Four Seasons Macao complex. Sands China says it is expected to open sometime in Q2.

The complex is said to have 290 suites and so far, the project has cost the company around $400 million. The complex will primarily act as a hotel, but there’s also a gaming floor in the plans as well. The renewal of the property is part of the company’s ongoing project to refurbish some of its properties, including Sands Cotai Central.

During the first three months of 2020, Sands China suffered a net loss of $166 million, whereas last year it earned $557 million. Opening some of its properties is a way to offset losses.

In turn, Macau is also preparing for some changes. The city plans to invest in tourism within the Greater Bay Area and lower the reliance on Hong Kong International Airport. Pandemic restrictions lowered the number of visitors to the city, and Macau is aiming to expand its reach beyond the current alternatives.

Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, director of the Macau government tourism office, stated, “Macau recorded double-digit growth of international visitors in the first half of 2019. However, international visitors significantly dropped in the second half of last year, influenced by the situation in Hong Kong.”

Wider flexibility and adaptability could increase the number of people traveling in and out of the country, but it’s still too early to talk about the revitalised industry since the city’s officials expect the restrictions to remain in place for a foreseeable future.

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