Home Macau Venetian Casino Macao - Bollywood takes over Las Vegas

Venetian Casino Macao - Bollywood takes over Las Vegas

It has emerged that the Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS) is in negotiations with a film producer from Bollywood to do a film shoot on location at the Venetian Casino in Macao, as part of one of the latest Bollywood blockbusters for a comedy reported to have a budget of US$4 million.

Poker Face

LVS is trying to keep a poker face as they negotiate the terms of the shoot on location, although they are understandably over the moon at the prospect of welcoming the Bollywood film crew to their star casino in Macao.

Emerging Indian tourist market

LVS Chairman Sheldon Adelson has made no secret in his attempt to attract the emerging Indian tourist market to visit his casinos in Macau and Singapore over the last few years, so he will surely be hoping for a fruitful outcome despite the fact that Indians are among those who spend the least time at the casino table games and other slot machines.

Strong increase in tourism from India

This is by no means the Venetian Casino’s first brush with Bollywood, less than two years ago the International Indian Films Award was held there in June 2009. Thanks to the interest generated by the media at home and abroad, an increase of 244% in the number of package tourists from India resulted year on year between February 2009 and February 2010. Although no study was made regarding the reason of this sudden increase, it is fair to conclude that the publicity surrounding the film awards was central to this important increase in numbers.

Bollywood influence

Despite the recent opening of a Macau Tourist Office in India, there are still no direct flights between the Indian continent and Macao to explain this sudden increase. Furthermore, one Indian tourist interviewed by a local newspaper in Macao referred directly to the Bollywood film star’s visit to Macao as one of his main motivations for travelling there.

“Free” promotion for the Venetian Casino Macao

The upcoming film that will also take in a number of other famous Macao landmarks could start filming as soon as the beginning of this year, offering the Venetian Casino Macao a potentially vast exposure at a very low marketing cost.

Opening new air routes between India and Macao

macau dragonThis sudden growth in visitors from India could further be built on by establishing direct air routes between the two countries. The Macau International Airport is in fact trying to attract airline companies to establish such a route by offering reduced airport fees to the first airline company to do so.

Two casino destinations - Macao versus Singapore

Even though Singapore has the advantage of being closer to India for visitors to come over, the attraction of travelling to a distant and exotic location such as Macao may attract certain Indians to make the added effort of flying to Macao.
Furthermore with a large population of over 350,000 ethnic Indians living in Singapore already, apart the relatively small and rich elite, they are in majority a low-income group working as labourers and as such are looked down upon by the local Chinese and Malay population there.

Better education for local Indian population in Singapore

In the past decade however, there has been a notable improvement in the way the local Indian population is being treated in Singapore. More and more are being accepted into secondary education although Indian tourists to Singapore must still pre-apply for a visa to enter the country, as opposed to Chinese visitors who are automatically granted a visa on arrival. Ultimately, this could prove a deciding obstacle to a further growth of tourism from India to Singapore.