MGM China Eyes Investment in Thailand’s Entertainment Sector

MGM China is looking at potential investment options in the projected entertainment complex in Thailand. This action is in line with the plan of Macau’s gambling operators to capitalize on the expanding tourist industry in Thailand.

Following a meeting with Pansy Ho, the chairman and executive director of MGM China Holdings, Thapanee Kiatphaibool, the governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), revealed the development, according to a story from Bangkok Post. Thapanee stressed that foreign markets in Thailand would be stimulated by investment from a multinational corporation such as MGM China. It is anticipated to draw tourists from the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and China.

Thailand is currently drafting legislation to regulate entertainment complexes, including legal casinos. The TAT plans to discuss potential collaboration with MGM to enhance Thailand’s competitiveness through new tourism-related products, including man-made attractions to be promoted year-round.

Tourism and Market Potential

Iwan Dietschi, senior vice-president of hospitality at MGM China, highlighted the importance of the Thai market. He noted it as the company’s largest group of visitors from Southeast Asia and the fastest-growing market. Thai customers at MGM hotels increased by 30% year-on-year in 2024. MGM China has established a sales representative in Thailand to further expand this market.

Macau’s hotels have seen a rebound, largely due to visitors from Southeast Asia and China, despite the economic slowdown. MGM China participated in the “Experience Macao Roadshow in Bangkok,” organized by the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), to strengthen the Thai outbound market. The MGTO reported that visitors from Thailand were the fifth-largest group of arrivals in Macau during the first five months of 2024.

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Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG), headquartered in Macau, also participated in the roadshow to attract high-spending Thai tourists. GEG operates nine luxury hotels with 5,500 rooms. Samantha Lyu, senior manager for media services at GEG, stated that Macau’s tourism market has gradually improved, primarily driven by Chinese tourists. The Individual Visit Scheme now includes an additional 10 cities in mainland China.

Thapanee underscored the urgency for the Thai tourism sector to secure 2.4 trillion baht (approximately $65 billion) in the last seven months of this year to meet its target of 3.5 trillion ($95 billion). The sector generated 1.1 trillion ($30 billion) in the first five months, according to the Tourism and Sports Ministry.

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