Show's over: Cirque du Soleil tumbles out of Macau

Show's over: Cirque du Soleil tumbles out of Macau

For all its impressive athletics, the Canadian show falls short on the business stage in Asia's gambling capital
The fantastical world of Cirque du Soleil was not enough to capture the attention of Macau's visitors.

Cirque du Soleil has pulled its show "Zaia" out of Macau due to disappointing ticket sales.

The curtain came down on the final show on Sunday, meaning "Zaia" completed only three-and-a-half years of its 10-year contract with Sands China Ltd., according to Cirque du Soleil’s senior director of public relations, Renée-Claude Ménard.

The end of "Zaia," staged at The Venetian Macao gambling resort, is seen as more proof that Macau is not quite Las Vegas, even as its gambling revenue consistently surpasses the U.S. city's.

“We knew the (Macau) market was not shifting from 'gaming only' to a 'destination' market ... we knew it would become an issue at some point in time," Ménard told The Gazette.

Also on CNNGo: Best of Macau

Visitors to Macau largely focus on gambling and stay for an average of 1.5 nights, a short trip compared to Las Vegas visitors' 3.6 nights. This affords little time for Macau visitors to do anything more than gamble. 

Macau has been striving to diversify its economy that heavily relies on the gaming industry. Business owners blame visitors' lack of interest in anything apart from gambling for the inability to turn Macau into a destination market.

Tourists say they have little reason to linger in Macau with what they consider uninteresting entertainment productions and narrow choice in dining and nightlife options.

Also on CNNGo: Macau strives to attract non-gamblers 

As David Green, managing partner of Newpage Consulting, told the Macau Daily Times about the show's closure: "It was a one-off decision. That particular show didn’t play to its market, it was a transplant from a Western market.”

Green also pointed out the success of rival show "The House of Dancing Water," which was developed as a show for Asian visitors from its conceptual stage. 

Also on CNNGo: The House of Dancing Water: Behind the scenes at the HK$2 billion show 

Gaming revenue at the former Portuguese colony rose 35 percent in January 2012 from a year earlier, to 25.04 billion patacas (US$3.13 billion) last month, up from 18.57 billion patacas a year earlier, according to data from Macau's Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau.

Did you see "Zaia" at The Venetian Macao? What did you think of the show? Do you think it deserved to close?