The proposed yacht club at the waterside leisure facility Macau Fisherman’s Wharf will have its own border post, the Macau government confirmed on Monday.
International visitors arriving in Macau by yacht will be able to dock at the development’s marina and undergo immigration clearance directly at the Macau Fisherman’s Wharf.
Casino services firm Macau Legend Development Ltd owns and operates Macau Fisherman’s Wharf. The company’s Babylon Casino is one of the facilities located at Fisherman’s Wharf, on Macau peninsula. The gaming venue is operated under the casino licence of SJM Holdings Ltd.
Macau Fisherman’s Wharf will be the first casino-related development in Macau to offer immigration facilities for people arriving the city in a private leisure boat.
As the ownership and maintenance of ocean-going yachts is generally regarded as a pastime for the better off, the crews of such vessels are seen as high-value tourists. According to yachting industry data, the most profitable category of such tourist involves those high net worth people travelling in so-called ‘super yachts’. Yacht tourists also tend to stay longer in destinations than the non-seagoing sort, according to yachting industry data.
Macau and the nearby mainland city of Zhongshan in China’s Guangdong province, have plans to implement a scheme that will allow yachts to navigate freely between the two places. The introduction of the scheme has been delayed several times. No public announcement has been made on when it might launch.
Macau Legend is redeveloping Fisherman’s Wharf (pictured in a rendering). The new yacht club is part of the project – the waterside development already features a mooring area. The company said in September the works – including “further development of the marina to increase the size of its mooring area and inclusion of a yacht club with immigration facilities” – were to be completed by the third quarter this year. The plan also includes a public pier for harbour cruises.
The Harbourview Hotel, part of the redevelopment project, had a soft opening in February 2015. The company plans to add two more hotels, scheduled to be completed in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
One of the new properties – the Legendale Hotel – has been facing some public opposition after Macau Legend applied to have the building’s height increased by 50 percent, to 90 metres (295 feet). The government has yet to approve the request. Management has already warned that delays related to that approval process are likely to affect the 2017 opening date for the property.
Macau Legend reported in November a year-on-year decline of 55.0 percent in adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) during the three months ended September 30, to HKD74.6 million (US$9.6 million), mainly due to a decline in gaming revenue.
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Vitaly Umansky, Kelsey Zhu and Tianjiao Yu
Analysts at brokerage Sanford C. Bernstein