MACAU IS INCREASINGLY seen as a desirable posting for senior executives. After all, not every city gets to be transformed into Asia's Las Vegas. Trevor Sunderland, permanent and executive selection services manager of Manpower (Hong Kong), said Macau's easy pace of life was an attraction for senior executives. 'The cost of living is not high, though rents are starting to creep up,' he said. 'But in a lot of cases it's not about money.' Manpower had helped arrange for a number of Hong Kong executives to join the gaming and hospitality sectors in Macau, Mr Sunderland said. Postings in Macau do not necessarily require previous experience with casinos or hotels. Instead, the entire infrastructure of expertise is being built in areas such as information technology, human resources and finance. 'The gaming industry has mushroomed significantly in the past couple of years,' Mr Sunderland said. The addition of the American-operated casinos had brought new professionalism to the industry. 'It needed significant expertise, predominantly in IT,' Mr Sunderland said. Before the handover, Macau was ridden by crime and an economic downturn. It would have been difficult to entice Hong Kong managers to relocate there. However, in 2003 when Hong Kong was still dealing with the aftermath of the Sars crisis, Macau rebounded. A wave of senior managers moved to the smaller neighbour in search of opportunities. 'There were no opportunities in Hong Kong at the time,' Mr Sunderland said. 'Hong Kong's hospitality sector is now regaining growth, but some people in the industry are still looking to Macau because of its easier pace.' Despite the opportunities Macau offers, salaries still do not compete with Hong Kong. 'We are not seeing expat-type wages in Macau for Hong Kong staff,' Mr Sunderland said. 'However, rentals and everything else are still relatively low. And it's definitely not a hardship posting.'