A family affair

Macau is making good progress in winning over corporates seeking wholesome fun for their staff events

MGM Theater

Macau’s ongoing expansion of its family-oriented product and experience offerings through attractions, as well as entertainment facilities within hotels and resorts, has made the destination – once better known as a gaming paradise – an attractive option for corporate family days and staff parties.

According to Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO), most of such events hail from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea.

MGM Theater

For planners of corporate family days and staff parties, a plethora of new non-gaming attractions are ripe for picking.

The new MGM Cotai, for one, has plans for impressive performances at its MGM Theatre, said to be Asia’s first dynamic theatre with revolutionary technology that brings to life multisensory experiences. As well, the hotel has over 300 permanent art pieces and an exclusive array of digital art on display.

The transformed Taipa Village – once home of fishermen – now tantalises visitors with various heritage attractions, innovative dining experiences, unique shopping opportunities and diverse arts and entertainment options.

Taipa Village Destination’s associate director, head of marketing, Pamela Chan, told TTGmice that as a “culturally-rich enclave”, Taipa Village has been a popular destination for festivals, family carnivals, workshops and other activities.

“Our Easter programme this year attracted more than 250 family visitors (locals and foreigners) over two consecutive weekends,” Chan said.

She added that restaurants within Taipa Village are ready to welcome special corporate gatherings, such as staff appreciation dinners and other celebratory events, and can support requests for customised menus.

“The Taipa Village Art Space is also a prime venue for local and international visitors to appreciate artworks of different media, from paintings, photography and sculptures to multimedia installations and films,” she said.

Fun outings can also be sought at Planet J, a theme park within Sands Cotai Central. The attraction, which offers over 200 interactive games across a 9,300m2 site, is popular for corporate family days and staff appreciation events.

Planet J’s sales and marketing manager, Dilys Leung, explained that Planet J works great for such gatherings as the theme park is suitable for both children and adults.
New to Planet J are augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) games. City Gate AR, for instance, presents a three-metre tall dragon created with AR technology. Participants don AR goggles and are armed with weapons to fend off the fearsome creature.

Planet J supports corporate planners with assistance in arranging teambuilding programmes as well as lighter activities such as magic shows and educational sessions.

Last November, Macau earned the UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy designation, another milestone in MGTO’s efforts to diversify the destination’s appeal. MGTO believes that Macau’s latest UNESCO status will earn it even more corporate groups in search of wholesome fun.

CWT Meetings & Events Hong Kong’s events manager, Frederick Leung, told TTGmice that Macau has indeed become a hot pick for corporate family days and staff parties.
He explained: “Macau’s luxury accommodation, fine-dining restaurants and wide ranging activities and entertainment for all ages create a complete package not found in many other destinations in the region.

“Guests staying in Cotai Central can also access facilities at some of the other hotels in the area. This makes Macau an attractive choice for corporate incentive trips and events.”
However, he saw the need for more venues and attractions independent of hotels and resorts in the destination.

“Many of the new dining and entertainment options are located in hotels, and access is often restricted to hotel guests. Developing more off-site venues and attractions will contribute to making Macau more appealing,” CWT’s Leung elaborated.

Manuel Wu, managing director of Macau Explorer Cultural Travel – an agency that specialises in unique destination experiences such as tailored culture tours and cooking classes as part of corporate events – has observed a rising trend in corporate groups heading to Macau for “cultural and community activities that help drive the local economy”.

While BCD Travel Hong Kong hasn’t seen requests for corporate family days, managing director Lily Agonoy said the destination gets a lot of staff appreciation programmes from Hong Kong. She attributes this to Macau’s accessibility from Hong Kong and reputation of being an integrated entertainment destination.

“The new integrated resorts are making Macau more appealing, as their entertainment facilities cater to different age groups,” said Agonoy, adding that the destination itself can support fun arrangements such as family day carnivals, circus-themed corporate events, and sporty staff appreciation retreats with activities like yoga or Zumba.

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