As Macao transforms itself from a casino-led destination into a world-leading resort one property has been at the forefront of its growth – The Venetian Macao.
Here Breaking Travel News sits down with Ciaran Carruthers, Senior Vice President at the property to discuss how the brand is recalibrating its offering to meet the growing demands of consumers.
BTN: Perhaps we could begin with an overview of what is on offer at The Venetian Macao? Could you tell our readers a little about what guests can expect to find?
Ciaran Carruthers: The Venetian Macao has become synonymous with innovative thinking, exceptional service and unparalleled amenities.
The 3,000-suite integrated resort features stunning replicas of the famous canals and architectural icons of Venice, Italy.
It is also a re-creation of the famous Venetian Las Vegas.
The Venetian Macao features over 300 stores at Shoppes at Venetian, more than 30 international restaurants, the 15,000-seat Cotai Arena, the luxury Venetian Theatre, and one of the largest convention, meeting and exhibition centres in Asia.
An incredible range of international dining options are available as well, from food court options to Michelin-starred cuisine, and everything in between.
Guests can experience an entertaining voyage through the indoor canals on an Italian gondola.
Singing gondoliers serenade guests as they wind their way through the canals of Shoppes at Venetian.
Streetmosphere performers entertain guests as they wander through Shoppes at Venetian.
Much like the streets of Venice, visitors can enjoy the colourful antics of jugglers, living statues, magicians, musicians and more.
BTN: Macao is understandably known for its world-class gaming offering, but like its rival Las Vegas, it has been diversifying its offering of late. What else is there do in the destination away from the tables?
CC: Macao has plenty of non-gaming offerings for visitors.
Our company has put a lot of effort in promoting Macao as a world centre of tourism and leisure, in line with the Macao government’s strategy.
By signing big name acts and international performers and hosting world-class sports and entertainment extravaganzas, we have increased the awareness of Macao as an entertainment and event destination.
The Cotai Arena hosts superstar sports, music and entertainment events like professional boxing, concerts by the Rolling Stones, Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Alicia Keys, and awards shows like the Huading Awards, Asia Pacific Film Festival and the IIFA Awards.
By promoting exciting, high-profile superstar events, we’re helping raise the profile of Macao and to increase awareness of our brands and all that our properties have to offer.
Visitors can come to our integrated resorts not only to attend concerts or entertainment shows, but also can discover more from fabulous dining options like our Michelin-starred Indian restaurant, enjoy a diversity of choices in accommodation, experience interactive exhibitions and expos, and spend hours browsing our 600 duty-free retailers in our three interconnected shopping malls.
The lagoon area of The Venetian Macao transforms itself several times a year for exciting festivals like our signature Venetian Carnevale, Cotai Jazz & Blues Festival and Winter at Cotai Strip.
Different types of destination events are held regularly throughout the years to attract more visitors while enhancing their overall experience.
BTN: Are there any plans in place to improve the resort in coming years? What developments does The Venetian Macao have planned to ensure it remains a world leader?
CC: We’re always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to surprise and delight our guests and visitors.
One of the great things about visiting The Venetian Macao is that it’s a part of our interconnected integrated resort city – Cotai Strip Resorts Macao.
So from The Venetian Macao, you can enjoy the luxury of The Plaza Macao next door or take our covered footbridge across the street to Sands Cotai Central – home to family-friendly entertainment options like the interactive DreamWorks Experience at Cotai Strip Resorts Macao.
BTN: How supportive has the local government of Macao been when it comes to supporting tourism in the destination?
CC: The Macao government has been encouraging the diversification of the tourism offering in Macao, and our integrated resorts have been focused on contributing to that drive with the range of experiences available for visitors at our integrated resorts.
Many of our events are often supported by the Macau Government Tourist Office.
BTN: The Venetian Macao has been nominated as Asia’s Leading Resort in 2014 after taking the title for the first time last year. How important are awards of this kind to the property? Do they build trust among consumers?
CC: The awards give the brand credibility, recognition in the market place and help customers to choose one hotel over another.
The honour also reflects solid industry recognition and this proves our ongoing effort and dedication has succeeded in making us the leading integrated resort in Macao.
Interview: Chris O’Toole