Republic of Cyprus Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios says his government considers Melco International Development Ltd an important contributor to the holiday industry in its portion of the Mediterranean island.
Several media outlets quoted Mr Perdios saying so after he met Melco International chairman and chief executive Lawrence Ho Yau Lung last week at Cyprus Casinos’ C2 Nicosia, one of the company’s casinos developed with local partners.
“We consider Melco an important contributor to Cyprus tourism in establishing the island as a popular and must-visit destination. Our goals are aligned and we will have a close cooperation in establishing Europe’s biggest casino resort and putting Cyprus on the global tourism map,” Mr Perdios was quoted in the English-language Cyprus Mail as saying.
Hong Kong-listed Melco International is the single-biggest shareholder in its subsidiary Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd, the Nasdaq-listed promoter of several of Macau’s leading casino resorts, including City of Dreams, Altira Macau and Studio City; and operator of a Philippines casino resort, City of Dreams Manila. Cyprus Casinos’ C2 Nicosia is one of three Cyprus Casinos properties Melco International runs there.
Melco International plans to open the City of Dreams Mediterranean casino resort – the big resort mentioned by Mr Perdios – in the city of Limassol, and two further casinos elsewhere on Cyprus.
The Financial Mirror reported that Mr Perdios and Mr Ho exchanged views on the minister’s new strategy for tourism and the main objectives of the City of Dreams Mediterranean resort and the three Cyprus Casinos establishments. Mr Ho told Mr Perdios about the operations of the Cyprus Casinos venues, and about the design and construction of the Limassol resort.
The Cyprus Mail reported Mr Ho as saying: “Cyprus has all the prerequisites to enhance its reputation as a regional and global premium destination and emerge as a genuine point of reference for luxury tourism and responsible gaming.”
Mr Ho pitched the expansion of Melco International’s footprint in Cyprus as a tonic against unemployment and for contributing to the country’s GDP. There are 796 staff at the properties in Cyprus, the Financial Mirror said.
Earlier this month Melco International told GGRAsia that it expected to have before the end of January the results of the tendering procedure for the building of the flagship Limassol resort.
Recent reports from local media in Cyprus had mentioned that the capital investment in the project would exceed the previously-announced construction budget of EUR550 million (about US$628.5 million).
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Lawrence Ho Yau Lung
Chairman and chief executive of Asia casino developer and operator Melco Resorts