Portfolio of Kimberly Johans

A collection of articles created during my stint as a journalist at The Macau Daily Times

Say Hello to Kitty at the Macau Tower

Posted by Kimberly on July 23, 2007

By Kimberly Johans
Published in The Macau Daily Times
July
23, 2007, page 3 (906 words)

Macau Tower is currently in the throes of Hello Kitty fever with the fantastical adventure running until 26 August.
Having gone thorugh the excitement twice in the past few years, Mr Mark Horan, Macau Tower’s General Manager feels the brand is one that’s immediately recognisable to both children and their parents.
“Hello Kitty is known internationally throughout the world and it actually provides entertainment for young children and of course the parents enjoy it as well because they have a place to bring their children in the summer time,” he said.
The current program sees Hello Kitty in a fantastical adventure, linking the experience with the musical currently showing at the Shun Tak centre in Hong Kong.
“If you are in Hong Kong at the Shun Tak centre, when you go up the escalator you see where we’re promoting the Hello Kitty, the Harry Potter, all these activities for families because a lot of families have relatives that live in Macau and they come over to Macau and they don’t know what to do,” said Mr Horan.
“What’s happening in Hong Kong only reinforces that if they do attend events in Hong Kong that are related to us they may say ‘let’s go to Macau for the weekend and go to the Tower for the Hello Kitty and bring the children over for that,’” he said.
Previous events have included a collaboration of Hello Kitty with UNESCO’s world heritage sites in Macau.
Children were given passports that they could get stamped after visiting each miniature site created in the Tower.
“Then the following summer we did a Hello Kitty secret house, which was also here on the 2nd floor and it was a smaller version and it was very successful,” said Mr Horan.
With last summer’s visitors totalling over 40,000 for the Hello Kitty secret house event, “we expect that because this is a larger version, that this will probably generate even more covers coming through,” said Mr Horan.
“If you look at the number of tourists that are coming to Macau this year, even with the Guangdong Province restrictions that have been imposed, we are still having strong numbers at the Tower and we feel that we’ll far exceed what we did last year,” he said.
He added that most of the visitors are coming from Hong Kong, with “still quite a bit coming from the Mainland.”
“Macau is in the limelight right now so there are a lot more different tourists that are coming.
“We’re starting to see a trend in Middle Eastern people coming to the Tower and also Japan is very strong, Korea is picking up and even from India.
“We’re getting quite a bit from India coming through which is really good for the Tower, because we’re covering a lot of different areas within Asia,” he said.
Miss Karen Lee, PR & Communications Manager for Shun Tak Holdings, believes by creating the Hello Kitty adventure, “I guess we’re trying to create a more holistic experience at the Tower.”
Mr Horan added that with new venues opening in Macau that are predominantly casino-related, it was important that Macau’s families had a family oriented place to bring their children.
With the Hello Kitty brand, he believed that “Kitty is very strong in terms of marketing. It’s everywhere you go around the world.
“One out of five persons will have a key chain or some type of product. If you really look for it you see it,” he said.
Miss Lee agreed, suggesting that “the value of what we’re having here is that, if you go to the musical in Hong Kong, no photos are allowed, no video, nothing.
“When they come to Macau Tower they have a chance to really be a part of it.
“They have their own souvenirs to bring home [in form of photos],” she said.
According to Mr Horan, Macau Tower has plenty more in store for visitors this year,with something exciting being planned for the end of the year which he refuses to divulge.
“It will bring a lot of visitors to Macau. I will not discuss it until we sign the contract because it’s a very interesting project and will probably bring hundreds or thousands of people to the tower.
“We’re in the process of discussions,” he said.
One project he did mention was going to occur in the month of November.
“What we’ve decided to do is we’re going to have a Melbourne cup live feed out on the terrace and do a BBQ so now we’re working with sponsors and suppliers to be able to do this,” he said.
Also in November will be a feast for the senses.
“Another thing that we’re doing which is going to happen in November and is very exciting, next door to the Tower there’s going to be a food festival and we’re going to a wine fiesta,” said Mr Horan.
“Basically we’re going to have France, Portugal, America, Australia, Chile and Spain.
“We’re going to have these pavilions and we’re going to have entertainment from these countries to play on certain nights and we’re going to have a BBQ one very night.
“There will be fireworks during those three nights,” he said.
With the Tower having won the prestigious TTG travel award for the best theme attraction two years in a row, it seems a certainty to do so for the third time running later this year.

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