LAS Vegas Sands (LVS) is thinking of opening its next Asian integrated resort in South Korea, adding to the four it has in Macau and the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
Speaking to the press on the sidelines of the Seoul MICE Forum yesterday, Marina Bay Sands president & CEO, George Tanasijevich, revealed that LVS was already in discussions with the South Korean government and private entities to enter the market.
According to Tanasijevich, South Korea had the characteristics to be successful in supporting IR development due to its geographical location, robust infrastructure, positive image among travellers, and educated work force.
Even though he declined to reveal which locations LVS had its sights on, Seoul and Busan are believed to be on the shortlist (TTG Asia e-Daily, April 12, 2012).
Industry players whom TTG Asia e-Daily spoke to were enthusiastic that the opening of an IR in South Korea would generate more international MICE business.
Jeffrey Jones, chairman, Advisory Board of Korea Tourism Organization, USA said South Korea needed additional hardware such as hotel rooms, ballrooms and integrated properties similar to Marina Bay Sands to drive MICE business forward.
“Singapore is leading the MICE industry because of Marina Bay Sands,” he said.
Novotel Ambassador Gangnam sales & marketing manager, David Kim, said the opening of an IR in South Korea would have a positive impact on all hotels in its immediate vicinity due to spillover business.