If there’s one luxurious locale that’s managed to beat the odds when it comes to China’s anti-corruption crackdown, it’s Macau. The gambling hotspot’s tourism industry shows few signs of the Chinese government’s campaign against official decadence that has hit luxury hard, and South China Morning Post Group is cashing in on the trend.
Macau reported 19 percent gambling revenue growth for 2013 and a 40 percent gambling surge for February 2014. Known for its high-roller gaming, the island has been turning it sights onto the middle class in the wake of China’s anti-corruption campaign, with casinos and gaming centers baking on an influx of Chinese tourists.
The South China Morning Post group has clearly taken notice. With a portfolio of well-known publications under its belt—such as the Chinese-language versions of Cosmopolitan, Elle, Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, and more—the publisher announced that it will acquire luxury lifestyle publisher Destination Macau Limited from Ignite Media Group Limited, with its two associated luxury titles Destination Macau and DM Exclusive.
“The combination of Destination Macau‘s high quality content, and its native base of affluent readers from Macau, China and the world makes this acquisition a perfect fit into the SCMP Group’s family of luxury titles, and adds to an even more formidable offering to our network of top tier advertisers”, said Ms. Elsie Cheung, chief operating officer of SCMP Group in a press release. “[With] Destination Macau‘s strong brand equity and established market presence in Macau, it presents a fertile opportunity for further growth when coupled with our award-winning expertise in multimedia magazine publishing, advertising, bespoke events and custom publishing.”
SCMP’s acquisition of the two titles grants it access to not only the middle class that Macau is trying to attract, but also the lucrative ultra-rich clientele that has long been the favorites of casinos. While Destination Macau is described as a “luxury lifestyle magazine”, DM Exclusive touts itself to be a “ultra-high end magazine”. With a doubling of hotel rooms in the next five years, and more than $8 billion worth of retail sales from Macau in 2013, SCMP’s acquisition of Destination Macau is a key opportunity for it to leverage its advertisers and business partners with this gold mine.