Sunday, September 26, 2021

Bingo Tso, ACE International, on the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on Asian companies and the attractions market

By Martin Palicki

Bingo Tso, Senior Vice President/CTO of ACE International, is a 40-year veteran of the pro-audio industry. He has been involved in the production of many large-scale events and shows in China, including the Beijing 2008 Olympics and the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. ACE also worked extensively on the live, multimedia stage spectacular Legend of Camel Bells, which received a TEA Thea Award in 2019.

InPark has reported on Bingo and ACE for several years after having been introduced by Brian Paiva of The Enigma Group, which provides business development consulting for many companies, including ACE.

We asked Bingo for his perspective from China on how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting business both within his company and in Asia.

How have the virus and global shutdown impacted your business?

The turmoil from COVID-19 is hitting everyone hard and it has stopped nearly all business, resulting in a significant impact on our company’s cashflow. We are taking every measure to keep the company solvent and we are optimistic that we will persevere and be the better for it. We are making use of this extra quiet time to prepare ourselves for once the crisis has passed.

We are fully committed to ensuring business continuity to the best of our abilities during these challenging times. We canceled business travel and are using phone or video conferencing for internal communication and customer sales support.

Many of our offices are operating as usual while also taking extreme precautions for everyone’s safety and well-being. We are taking care to closely follow every government health regulation. We’re allowing working from home in some cases in regions where it is safer and more convenient. We are also using this down time to focus on various marketing and promotions planning, as well as other related activities that we never have time to do normally.

How do you see things changing in the near future?

In China, COVID-19 appears to be under control. Many of the provincial governments are encouraging people to spend money and enjoy entertainment. Officers are visiting restaurants, shopping and entertainment sites, with many venues offering public promotions as encouragement for business.

Large theme park groups such as Fantawild and Huaxia Cultural Tourism Group are preparing to open their parks from April to June. Large shows and productions are starting to assemble their teams, so we are beginning our technical preparation in anticipation of these shows resuming.

There is government planning underway to drive investment into a lot of different areas of the economy. In September, after the summer holiday, we are cautiously optimistic that things will gradually return to normal.

Unfortunately, there is a second wave of serious outbreak due to travelers returning in the last few days from Europe and the USA. Additional COVID-19 cases are confirmed. As a response, the governments of Hong Kong and China are again tightening the control of travel and public gathering.  We are monitoring this development and doing our best to cope with this challenge.

Do you have a broader perspective on how things are playing out within the Asia attractions industry?

There will be a period of recovery. Sadly, some businesses may close as a result of this turmoil. However, we are optimistic that many will remain open and those that do will be more robust and better prepared for future challenges.

Companies will want to invest, upgrade and improve. Thus, there will be opportunities for our businesses as well.

Martin Palicki
Martin Palicki owns and publishes InPark Magazine. Started in 2004, InPark Magazine provides owners and operators the perspective from "in"side the "park." Martin has also written for publications like Sound & Communications, Lighting & Sound America, Attractions Management and others. Martin has been featured in Time Magazine, CNN.com and Folio. Martin lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

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