World Tobacco – Macau

General concensus is the show was well organized and the venue good (at the Venetian) – albeit small for Asia and not well attended by the Chinese.

This aside, there were a good number of visitors from most Asian countries and the level and quantity of inquiries should translate into future business. Most of this took place during the first two days – the third was dead and many stands wrapped-up early.

The show may have been better attended (by the Chinese) if it had been held in a major China location like Shanghai or Beijing – or even Hong Kong. Still, this may not have been pragmatic as the Chinese authorities have been difficult with visas since well before the Olympics.

The Venetian resort was stunning; even surreal, it didn’t feel like China and for those who stepped outside it was equally surreal. The Venetian is located on Macau’s Cotai Strip; well away from the Ferry / older city area. The new strip is surrounded by half-built mega-casinos going up all around and when it’s finished it will look like a not-too-mini Las Vegas.

As a foot-note to the global meltdown,  most construction work halted, with the lay-off of 7,000 construction workers, a few days after the show ended.

Another show is provisionally scheduled for 2010.


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