Monaco’s largest company Société des Bais de Mer (SBM) is anticipating an upsurge in tourism to the country in the wake of this month’s Royal wedding.
The sovereign wedding of Prince Albert, the principality’s ruler, and former Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock is expected to create an increase in tourism and visitors numbers during this year.
SBM owns the glamorous Casino de Monte-Carlo and the state’s most historic hotels, including the highly regarded Hôtel de Paris.
The company has a monopoly concession to run the casinos in Monaco until 2027 and owns five of them, as well as 32 restaurants, sporting venues, clubhouses and nightspots.
As the effects linger from the recession, there has been a 14 per cent fall in casino takings, equaling more than half of total turnover.
Visitor numbers at the casinos have been down since the introduction of a smoking ban in November 2008. In response to this smoking ban, BSM has created an outdoor gambling area for the first time in Monaco’s history.
"As we have completed phase one of our renovation, with an additional outdoor gaming terrace, and invested additional marketing funds in new markets, we believe that we should get better revenues in the medium term," SBM’s chief executive Bernard Lambert said.
He predicted that business in Monaco this year "will be at least in line with last year" and that it will soon be back to its peak.
"We believe that the focus on Monaco has already started in view of the visitor movements in Monaco since Easter."
Looking ahead, SBM will open a five-star resort in Marrakesh next year and two in Abu Dhabi by 2013."Our objective is to have a flag in London and then in Paris, and hopefully we may announce a couple of management contracts before the end of this year, most probably in France, Asia and the Middle East".
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P