August 01, 2017

More and more planners are looking East for meetings and events.

Asia is a hot destination and two recent surveys have the numbers to prove it. 

 A tale of two surveys

According to Meetings & Conventions' "2017 Global Planner Survey," Asia's popularity as an international meetings destination is rising dramatically. The results of the survey indicated that international meetings held in Asia in 2018 (31 percent) will almost double in comparison to 2017 (16 percent), according to those polled. 

In Macao alone, the numbers have been impressive. "The number of meetings and events held in Macao increased almost five times from 260 in 2002 to 1,276 in 2016," said Sam Lei, senior manager of Promotional Activities Department, Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute.

Another interesting finding: the survey found that the top criteria when selecting an international meeting destination was "quality of accommodations" at 53 percent. This also supports choosing Asia, known for its quality accommodations and superior customer service.

American Express' "2017 Global Meetings and Events Forecast" also reinforces the idea of Asia on the rise. Quoting the survey, "While respondents in other global regions point to a leveling off of growth, those in Asia Pacific express some optimism, predicting increases in the number of meetings across most meeting types. As the global hub of manufacturing with very diverse travel destinations, the economic growth and development of meetings and tourism infrastructure throughout the region have contributed to a positive outlook for 2017."

Interestingly, while meetings traffic to Asia is increasing, costs are not. The survey says, "While meeting activity may be on the upswing, overall meeting spend per company is expected to remain flat through 2017 in Asia Pacific."

Fam-tastic experiences

Riding the wave of increased popularity to the region, Macao has become a very hot topic lately as a leading meetings and events destination in Asia. To help introduce meetings planners to their services, Sands ® Resorts Macao hosted a four-day fam experience entitled "The Ultimate Download -- Asia's Leading Meetings & Events Destination" in June 2017, for 150 international convention and exhibition professionals. The event allowed them to obtain updated information and to show that the region is poised to handle meetings and events bookings with ease.

Activities and facilities

Programs at the fam were varied and included group favorites such as yoga, tai chi, boot camp and poolside activities, while the visit enabled participants to discover Macao, a destination with a unique culture that includes more than 20 UNESCO World Heritage sites. Some of the fun activities at the fam that could be enjoyed by meetings and events groups and are available only in Macao, included:

  • Discovering Macao via a skywalk on the top of the 108-foot high Macao Tower
  • Getting back to nature with a Macao trail hike and trek
  • Taking part in a traditional Macanese/Portuguese egg tart culinary class
  • Learning about Macao's history and culture with a guided walking tour.



 This video conveys a real sense of the event. Go to:

One resort's capabilities

Ruth Boston, senior vice president of Marketing and Brand Management, Sands China, Ltd., stressed that modern Macao and its unique history are a spectacular backdrop for delegates who visit the city. "Stay at Sands Resorts Macao and you have the perfect combination of the magnificent old and the sparkling new, literally side by side," Ruth said. Sands Resorts offers one-stop services from banqueting, entertainment, audio-visual and travel arrangements. Their experienced team will arrange comprehensive meeting and event services, catering from 50 to 12,000 delegates all under one roof.

For more information on planning meetings and events at a Sands Resorts Macao, visit