The Macau Daily Times reports that the Galaxy International Convention Center (GICC), constructed to stimulate the government’s “Tourism + MICE” incentive, is expected to launch in the second half of 2021 due to construction delays from the pandemic.
Joey Pather, senior vice president of MICE operations and sales for the group’s new resort, said, “we are talking about how MICE can be a big focus area [for Macau’s tourism] this year. We are not just seeing MICE as MICE, but what MICE does for the whole business [world].”
MICE represents Macao’s convention and exhibition industry, the city’s fastest-growing emerging sectors in recent years.
Lei Wai Nong, Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance, announced in November 2020 that the government would strive for the “Tourism+” idea in 2021.
Nong said that, “Tourism+” is a strategic focus aimed to merge the tourism industry with other sectors such as MICE, as well as culture, e-commerce, and sports, in hopes to boost Macau’s tourism and economy.
Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), has also confirmed that “Tourism+” cross-sector integration would be one of MGTO’s top five work goals in 2021.
The Galaxy International Convention Center (GICC) is a $1.2 billion USD project that will feature multiple facilities including a 650-seat auditorium, a 4,000 square meter conference hall, and a 10,000-meter pillar-less exhibition space.
A report by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), shows that Macau was the 48th highest-ranked city for the number of meetings held in 2019. In the Asia Pacific region, Macau was ranked 12th, an increase of 5 places from 2018.
Hong Kong has historically held a significant lead in the development of MICE business and was, ranked 22nd globally and 7th in the Asia Pacific region for MICE events in 2019. Macau’s government believes that if it has modern state-of-the-art convention facilities, such as the GICC that it will increase its share of MICE business and that many Hong Kong events will relocate to Macau.